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Speculating that since the terms are not disclosed, they are not material to Cisco's earnings. That suggests they sold it for a lot less than the $500M they bought it for[1].

I wonder why they couldn't figure out how to make it work. I blew it by not working on NetApp's low end box (the Storvault) I really should have, it would have helped me understand where the sticky problems in 'consumer' are.

[1] http://www.twice.com/news/cisco-systems-buy-linksys-0




The StoreVault's key problems: artificial limitations, awful 'consumer' AI, and lack of SAN experience in their target audience.

The StoreVault ran a modified version of ONTAP, but still generally had most of the ONTAP features. Unfortunately, these were hidden by the special StoreVault System Manager. Even if you were familiar with NetApp, it was a major struggle to perform your typical tasks. The System Manager was buggy, slow, and only had the most basic workflows available. If you manually connected in to FilerView, you received a nasty warning about how dangerous/unsupported it was. But from FilerView, you could actually manage your filer the right way.

Non-savvy users struggled with the software and were steered in the wrong direction. It was incredibly frustrating being limited by the System Manager.

Now, the low-end filers like the 2040 occupy the same space, and are "full" NetApps so you don't have to worry about an abrupt EOL notice.

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I just went to see if I could find the "2040," but it seem the lowest-end I could find was the v3140. Am I missing something? Older model?

Anyway, when I went to see what these appliances' specs are and what they would sell for, it was obvious why they failed at the consumer market:

These high-touch sales models where one is required to talk to a salesperson, and there are a ton of configurability options will not work in the consumer market.

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Exactly, the configuration options are daunting, and your average consumer doesn't understand a SAN architecture well-enough to make the right choices. It's sort of a catch-22, where any company looking at a low-end SAN also doesn't have the personnel to run any SAN effectively.

NetApp's FAS product line has 3 families: the 2xxx series, the 3xxx series, and the 6xxx series. Each of these families then also has sub-groupings based on release date/capabilities, like the 20xx series, 22xx series, etc. So the 2040 is their lowest-end filer they still sell (and that supports the latest OS version), while the 2240 is the newer build designed to replace the 2040 (better CPUs, RAM, etc).

The 2xxx series (2040 (older, but available), 2220, 2240) are all lower-end and have limited expansion capabilities, as well as including disks in the controller chassis. The 2240 is unique in that it can support a single 10Gb ethernet card or an 8Gb FC card (but not both at the same time), while the rest of the 2xxx family can't.

The 3xxx series (3140 (older), 3220, 3250) are mid-range filers with decent expansion options (SSD/Flash PCIe card, 10Gb ethernet, 8Gb fiber channel, more SAS ports, etc).

The 6xxx series (6040, 6080, with the 62xx series coming soon) are high-end filers with tons of expansion ports and built-in ports to handle larger workloads and higher total storage limits.

The v-series is designed to be a front-end to another SAN, giving you the NetApp suite of software/capabilities without rebuying all of that disk.

There's also the E-series, which is the Engenio tech they're selling after acquiring them a year or two ago. I haven't worked with that, but it's the very high-end filer.

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Cisco is built bottom-to-top around enterprise sales. Linksys is a consumer company. Combining those two after-the-fact requires a lot of willpower that few companies successfully manage.

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Those of us who fondly remember the Flip video camera understand your point too well: http://jseliger.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/will-we-ever-find-o... .

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I knew there was another example out there, but I couldn't remember it. And it was the Flip (poor thing...).

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  > Speculating that since the terms are not disclosed, they are not material to Cisco's earnings
My guess is their stock pops a little bit, if nothing else than from removing the dead weight.

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the writedown from $500M to whatever they sold it for will have to appear somewhere in the next set of accounts

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