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Candera Back for Seconds

After fouling off its first attempt to sell network controllers, Candera Inc. is stepping back up to the plate with another kind of offer.

The vendor has lined up an ATA appliance to work with its intelligent controllers as an option for secondary storage, such as email. Candera hopes to market the product as an easy-to-use alternative to products such as the EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)
Clariion CX, at half the price.

Candera hopes it hits a homer. Since releasing its original product in September 2003, the startup lined up just four customers. One of these was Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen Media, which gave Candera breathing room by purchasing a controller cluster. Unfortunately for Candera, Oprahs endorsement of a network controller isn’t quite as powerful as her book endorsements [ed. note: and "Oprah's Contoller Club" doesn't really have quite the right ring to it...].

After laying off one third of its staff (see Candera Cans SAN Hands), Candera regrouped, and management decided competing with primary storage vendors like EMC and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), which typically sell their own controller/drive combinations, wasn't paying off.

“Candera originally went to the enterprise, and customers reacted by saying, ‘Who are you, why should I let you control my million-dollar Symmetrixes and Sharks?’ ” says Arun Taneja, founder of the Teneja Group. “Now they’re not asking the enterprise to put all the crown jewels in their hands. If they didn’t make that change, I think they would go south.”

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