Why Read This
For the last several years, enterprise storage has been an acquisitive market, with big fish gobbling up minnows and even peer-sized firms at a dramatic rate. But during the past year, the pace of acquisition has slowed and a significant number of storage IPOs have been announced. Does this signal a fundamental shift in the storage industry or is it just an incidental pause? Until technologies from new start-up firms emerge, the acquisition boom might be on a slowed trajectory. Additionally, the expense and disruption of buying and integrating technologies compared to internal development might have left a sour taste for acquirers. The recent IPO penchant demonstrated by 3PAR, BlueArc, Compellent, Data Domain, EqualLogic, Isilon, and ONStor is interesting, though. All are systems companies that, by going public, are committing to going it alone and competing long term with their much larger brethren. Going the IPO route means that small companies get to maintain their independence and avoid the disruptions inherent in acquisitions, but it also means they have to go head to head with the giants of the industry as well as bear the burdens of Wall Street.