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Will the roulette ball fall for WANdisco's spiel?

How the cloud data mover is faring after executing the executor

Analysis How is replication software supplier WANdisco doing after the chairman fired the CEO and then the fired CEO came back and fired the chairman?

WANdisco’s main technology is about replicating active data, such that, as potentially huge populations of large transaction files are migrated to the cloud, transactions can still be applied to them and be processed properly. The WANdisco Fusion products work on NFS, CIFS/SMB and Hadoop source files and help write them to Amazon using S3, Google, Azure, OpenStack Swift, the Oracle Public Cloud, and IBM's SoftLayer, which is becoming Bluemix.

WANdisco's relationships include:

  • IBM OEM deal
  • HPE reseller deal
  • Google Dataproc relationship
  • AWS Marketplace availability

Its technology works with Oracle's Big Appliance and there was a $1.5m sale to a regional US bank in October.

WANdisco CEO Dave Richards says that an SW supplier whose products interface to public clouds has two basic choices. They can go it alone and try to build volume by shipping millions of copies of their product, either proprietary or open source, themselves, which is tremendously difficult. Or they can get increased market presence through partnerships, such as the IBM OEM deal.

He thinks the go-it-alone, David-vs-Goliath idea is fantasy, particularly for data processing software. "Is Hadoop the future? Who cares? It’s Big Data in the cloud that’s the future," he said. By moving data to the cloud, by being a data mover, WANdisco is not dependent on any one particular data processing/analysing software technology.

If you take the view that the tier-one public clouds and aspirants with enterprise credibility (Amazon, Azure, Bluemix, Google and Oracle) are going to be the public cloud destinations of choice for the world's largest enterprises and public sector organisations then a realisation follows.

It seems to El Reg that, for this replication-to-the-cloud software technology supplier, a public cloud OEM deal is the gold standard. With partners such as IBM, deals can involve hundreds of copies of software products, thousands even, being used by globally significant enterprises and organisations.

It's a cliché but nonetheless true; the rising public cloud tide lifts all associated suppliers' boats.

Richards tells us: "IBM's ability to do large strategic deals is something we just don't have. I think we're strategic to IBM to help its customers go to its Bluemix cloud. Having thousands of IBM reps incented to sell our product is great."

He thinks the public cloud is bad for hardware shippers. "Cloud has killed the open source, commodity hardware model," but not for software suppliers with a cloud angle.

Public cloud "didn't kill the data moving model. Companies have to move data into the cloud, especially transaction data, and they can't have a disruption to service while doing that."

This is an attractive picture being painted by Richards, but it's a picture of the future, of what might be, of what he thinks will be. If he's right then the WANdisco Big Blue mixture will deliver the revenue goods and happy global enterprises will use thousands of copies of his company's products. More public cloud deals will follow and WANdisco will be riding high.

If he's wrong, if his view of the workings of the IT roulette wheel is not right then it ain't gonna happen. His shareholders, by supporting him, have placed their bets and the wheel is spinning. Which will it be, red or black; boom or bust? And the wheel is spinning, round, and round, and the ball is going to fall... where exactly? We watch and we wait. ®

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