Newcomer StorCentric gobbles array flinger Nexsan and prosumer storage vendor Drobo

Private equity machinations behind new business setup

Freshly incorporated investment vehicle StorCentric today confirmed it is the new private equity owner of Nexsan and Drobo, respective array and prosumer storage businesses.

Mihir Shah, CEO of Drobo, will head up StorCentric as CEO. The firms will be run as separate divisions: Gregg Pugmire is to be global veep of sales at Nexsan and Read Fenner has the same title at Drobo. Nexsan founder and current CTO Gary Watson will maintain the same position.

"We will continue to execute on our growth strategy, both organic and through acquisitions," said Shah in a canned statement.

The group will employ 150 people in North America, Europe and Asia.

There is no overlap in the duo's tech but it is likely they'll be able to cut costs and boost profits by removing some back-office duplication.

Further bolt-on buys, as Shah said, are inevitable: Nexsan arrays will need NVMe drive and NVMe-oF tech to survive in the tier 1 enterprise array space. Even so, that's a busy market for it to prosper in. It also needs a QLC flash strategy.

Financial terms of the deal were not revealed. Both Drobo and Nexsan were privately owned firms, and neither made public their profit and loss accounts.

Nexsan was founded in 1999 and by 2007 was a storage subsystem developer with SATA disk arrays and a content-addressed array for archiving. It was bought by Imation in 2013 for $120m.

Drobo started life as Data Robotics in 2007, launched by Geoff Barrall, who had also started BlueArc, the NAS supplier bought by HDS. The Drobo name was introduced and by 2013 it had merged with Connected Data. By 2015, it was sold to an investment group and Shah was made CEO.

Imation then bought Connected Data for $7.5m in October 2015, subsequently imploded and both Nexsan and Connected Data were bought by private equity house Spear Point Capital Management in early 2017.

Spear Point is being merged into Humilis Holdings, which among others helped to fund the StorCentric setup. The board includes Humilis managing partner Trevor Colhoun, Shah, Mike Edwards of the Atlas Technology Group investment bank and a Drobo board member, and Peter Richards, who had stints at Empire Capital and Dune Road Capital. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Will Lenovo ever think beyond hardware?
    Then again, why develop your own software à la HPE GreenLake when you can use someone else's?

    Analysis Lenovo fancies its TruScale anything-as-a-service (XaaS) platform as a more flexible competitor to HPE GreenLake or Dell Apex. Unlike its rivals, Lenovo doesn't believe it needs to mimic all aspects of the cloud to be successful.

    While subscription services are nothing new for Lenovo, the company only recently consolidated its offerings into a unified XaaS service called TruScale.

    On the surface TruScale ticks most of the XaaS boxes — cloud-like consumption model, subscription pricing — and it works just like you'd expect. Sign up for a certain amount of compute capacity and a short time later a rack full of pre-plumbed compute, storage, and network boxes are delivered to your place of choosing, whether that's a private datacenter, colo, or edge location.

    Continue reading
  • Intel is running rings around AMD and Arm at the edge
    What will it take to loosen the x86 giant's edge stranglehold?

    Analysis Supermicro launched a wave of edge appliances using Intel's newly refreshed Xeon-D processors last week. The launch itself was nothing to write home about, but a thought occurred: with all the hype surrounding the outer reaches of computing that we call the edge, you'd think there would be more competition from chipmakers in this arena.

    So where are all the AMD and Arm-based edge appliances?

    A glance through the catalogs of the major OEMs – Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Inspur, Supermicro – returned plenty of results for AMD servers, but few, if any, validated for edge deployments. In fact, Supermicro was the only one of the five vendors that even offered an AMD-based edge appliance – which used an ageing Epyc processor. Hardly a great showing from AMD. Meanwhile, just one appliance from Inspur used an Arm-based chip from Nvidia.

    Continue reading
  • NASA's Psyche mission: 2022 launch is off after software arrives late
    Launch window slides into 2023 or 2024 for asteroid-probing project

    Sadly for NASA's mission to take samples from the asteroid Psyche, software problems mean the spacecraft is going to miss its 2022 launch window.

    The US space agency made the announcement on Friday: "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11."

    While it appears the software and testbeds are now working, there just isn't enough time to get everything done before a SpaceX Falcon Heavy sends the spacecraft to study a metallic-rich asteroid of the same name.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022