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waysouth writes: Think this unit would be much better spun off for a life of its own...needs to concentrate attention on its NAS business

I tend to agree. I think Quantum is still searching for a president for DSS, and the search is probably being hampered by the fact that DSS reports to the quantum parent company (Michael Brown etc). If the HDD group is answerable to HDD shareholders and the DSS group is answerable to DSS shareholders, what ownership constituency does the Quantum CEO have a responsibility to? I would be more comfortable if DSS was a company on its own.

But this is a short-term issue. Bad short-term news is good for the stock price if you're a buyer.

In the very long term, I think DSS is in a great position. Consider this: advances in magnetic storage double storage densities every year (actually, advances seem to be coming even faster in recent years). This means that in ten years, a small NAS unit with an architecture like Quantum's 40GB Snap server will increase in capacity by 2^10 = 1000-fold. We can anticipate that Quantum's "low-end" product line at that time will provide 40TB in storage. Even if they do not reengineer their product line, Quantum will be catapulted into what today is considered the ultra-high-end of storage simply by riding the technology curve.

Undoubtedly the high-end will shift by 2010. But I suspect that customer demand will not keep up with technology supply. The same technology curve argument implies that NTAP, which sells storage units up to 1TB today, will be selling single boxes with up to 1 petabyte of storage in a decade. Even ten years from now, I think the number of customers in this rarefied petabyte storage domain will be relatively small. Consider that the storage required to hold every one of the 4,000 or so DVD titles avaliable today (at 5GB each) seems large today, but will be "low-end" in a decade - it is "only" about 20 TB. (Other comparisons: typical video rental stores stock fewwer than 1,000 titles, "only" about 5 TB. The entire internet in 1997 - Alexa recorded it all and gave it to the Library of Congress - "only" about 2 TB.)

A high end customer in 2010 might want to continuously record every broadcast stream of video in the U.S. for a solid year without erasing. Recording 1000 streams of continuous DVD-quality video for a year without throwing away any data requires about twenty petabytes. Perhaps I suffer from a lack of vision, but I don't see very many customers with the need to do this, even in a decade.

This is why I'm happier betting on the low-end than on the high-end for storage.

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