Storage Soup

Oct 28 2008   4:01PM GMT

STORServer gives C-suite a forklift upgrade

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Data protection appliance vendor STORServer has a new management team, replacing president and CEO John Pearring with a president and a separate CEO, both promoted from inside the company.

Chief operating officer Laura Buckley takes over as president and Bob Antoniazzi moves up from VP of business development to CEO.   Buckley will continue as COO for the Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM)-based backup appliance maker while working with the company’s directors. Antoniazzi will be responsible for exploring new market opportunities and business directions for the company, according to a STORServer press release that said Pearring left for personal reasons.

Antoniazzi told me today that the most likely way for the company to expand its products is to flesh out a line of virtual server appliances. STORServer added a virtual instance of its TSM-based backup software inside its hardware appliance a few months ago, but has yet to make it available without hardware. “Right now, we’re being cautious,” he said. “We’re shipping a physical appliance with a virtual appliance inside, tweaked and optimized according to customer requirements for performance and reliability–we can’t just say, ‘Here you go, put this on your own ESX server and good luck.’ I don’t think it’s responsible to do that now.” But that’s the goal eventually.

STORServer also recently announced support for email archiving, but Antoniazzi said “I don’t see us going and doing more new technologies for new technologies’ sake. Whatever we ship, we support, and we have to make sure our support organization is prepared on anything we add.”

Customers have also incquired about remote replication, data deduplication and support for cloud computing. “These are ideas that we will be investigating, but they’re not going out the door anytime soon,” he said.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse said STORServer’s got the right idea by adding virtual servers and email archiving features into the mix, but “I’m not sure they have the opportunity to adopt an all-virtual-appliance strategy. I don’t know what limitations might exist for distributing the OS their applications rely on. But it would be a good step for the lower end of the market. They may also have an opportunity to package up a solution for ROBOs, maybe using IBM’s FastBack.”

She added, “The other thing that is missing for them is just general awareness.  They are a great self-sustaining company with a decent channel, but have relatively low visibility in a crowded market.  Unfortunately, now it’s a tough economy to make big investments in that way.”

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