You can count GlassHouse Technologies among the companies expecting storage spending to increase – or at least hold steady – in 2008. The storage consultant firm filed for an IPO this week, which means it plans to go pubic early next year during a time when many large storage and IT vendors are cautious because of a perceived spending slowdown.
GlassHouse said it hopes to raise $100 million, and will likely be the first or second storage company to go public in 2008 (NAS vendor BlueArc filed to for an IPO in September, but has yet to price its shares to complete the IPO).
And GlassHouse needs spending to increase in order to make it as a public company. As it points out in its SEC filing, it lost $9.6 million last year, $69.9 million since its inception in 2001, and expects the losses to continue. So why go public now? Partly because it can use the $100 million on acquisitions and to keep its business growing, but also because it is well respected in storage circles and has steadily increased revenue. GlassHouse sees a rosy long term future for IT and storage consultants, revolving around data protection, virtualization and green data centers. According to its S-1 filing:
- Storage/Data Protection: These services help customers plan, integrate and manage their physical data storage and data protection technologies. According to Gartner, this market is predicted to grow from $24 billion in 2006 to $34 billion by 2011.
- Virtualization: These services help customers plan, integrate and manage their virtualized environments. IDC forecasts that the consulting and systems integration segments of this market will grow from $1.2 billion in 2006 to $5.2 billion in 2011 at an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33%
- “Green” Data Centers: These services help customers plan, migrate and manage their data centers to reduce power needs, thereby decreasing the cost to operate their data centers. We believe this market will grow rapidly, as companies seek to reduce their energy costs. According to Gartner, “more than 70% of the world’s Global 1000 organizations will have to modify their data center facilities significantly during the next five years.”
Others are bullish on the need for storage consultants, too. Dell today said it is acquiring U.K.-based The Networked Storage Co., an IT consultant that – as you can guess from the name – specializes in networked storage.
Also today, venture capital buyout firm Garnett & Helfrich Capital, purchased MTI Europe from the bankrupt MTI Technology Corp. The private equity firm will rebrand MTI Europe as MTI, and an MTI spokesperson said the company will offer its consultant services in the United States.