On October 23rd, Cisco announced its
acquisition of Richardson, TX based Navini Networks, a manufacturer of
WiMax access hardware for $330M. Where does Navini fit into Cisco’s suite of
access and network technologies? It’s a step closer to taking on a more
fully-fleshed out Ubiquitous Mobility story, something Forrester was expecting,
if not urging Cisco to embark upon in recent
research. Cisco will not, of course, stake its infrastructure business on
Navini technology out of the gate. In the short term, Navini and its WiMax
holdings will allow Cisco to take on competitors in emerging markets such as
Huawei, making use of WiMax to services constituencies previously outside Cisco’s
core market for networking gear due to a dearth of WAN connectivity. Longer-term,
I full expect to see Cisco take on more traditional (developed) markets with WiMax-enabled
local access networking gear, competing with expected product developments from Motorola and Nortel.
Backup is a struggle for both enterprises and small and medium businesses. It’s a complex ecosystem of backup software, networks, servers, disk arrays, and tape systems. Most companies report they are having difficulty completing backups in the time available and when backups fail or complete with errors, it’s often very difficult to discover the root cause. Couple those troubles with the fact that the amount of data that you need backed up is growing conservatively at 30% to 50% per year. Aside from these challenges, most companies are also interested in keeping backups longer for version history and companies are interested in the ability to perform much faster restores if they could.
Given the headaches associated with backup, many small and medium business and even some enterprises are choosing to outsource their backups all together to a service provider. There are already numerous players in the marketplace from Evault (which is resold by a number of different service providers) to Iron Mountain, to your telecommunication provider, and to emerging entrants such as Berkeley Data Systems and its Mozy service offering. This opportunity is so huge that even Symantec (which acquired Veritas) launched a beta of its own online backup service called the Symantec Protection Network. EMC’s acquisition of Berkeley Data Systems is just further proof that the online backup market is a huge opportunity.