Monday, October 25, 2021

ATTO Technology Announces Support for Apple’s Latest Operating System macOS 12 Monterey

All ATTO adapters, software, and utilities have been tested and validated with the new OS

 

ATTO Technology, Inc., today announced its hardware and software fully support the latest operating system from Apple, macOS 12 Monterey.

Rigorous performance evaluations have been done to ensure all ATTO products perform at the highest level with macOS 12. All ATTO adapters, software, and utilities have been tested and are already validated with Monterey. The tests were passed on both M1 and Intel®-based Apple machines.

“We’ve been working with Apple for many decades, now, and those deep roots show in how we were able to validate our products before Monterey was officially released,” said Timothy J. Klein, president and CEO, ATTO Technology. “Our goal was to make sure Mac users have what they need from us to keep producing the incredible things they do without missing a beat.”

ATTO Technology is a network and storage connectivity manufacturer whose products power high-performance, demanding workflows for media and entertainment, government, education, and scientific users. From Thunderbolt™ to Ethernet, Fibre Channel to SAS/SATA, ATTO products are the highest performing, most reliable and easiest to use connectivity solutions available for Mac environments.

Apple is the platform of choice for creative professionals who work with demanding design and digital production workflows where team collaboration is often essential. Digital assets continue to evolve in complexity, size and number which naturally leads to more and more data moving through networks. ATTO Technology supplies the connectivity purpose made to address these challenges.

Data density and complexity typify most workflows today, like in science and education where Apple computers are popular and widely used. The same technology from ATTO that Hollywood studios rely upon is equally effective across all industries.

Products in the ATTO portfolio supporting macOS 12 Monterey include:

  • ATTO Celerity™ 32Gb/s (Gen 7 and Gen 6), 16Gb/s (Gen 6) and 8Gb Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) with ATTO MultiPath Director
  • ATTO ExpressSAS® GT 12Gb SAS HBAs
  • Thunderbolt 3 and 2 enabled ATTO ThunderLink adapters
  • ATTO FastFrame™ 10/25/40/50/100GbE SmartNICs
  • Software including ATTO 360 Tuning Software, ATTO Xtend SAN iSCSI Initiator, ATTO ConfigTool, XstreamVIEW, Express NAV and QuickNAV

 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Quantum: Fiscal 1Q22 Financial Results - Sales up 22% Y/Y

 

Quantum Corporation announced financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30, 2021. 

1FQ22 financial summary and recent highlights

  • Revenue grew 22% Y/Y to $89.1 million
  • GAAP net loss was $4.2 million, or ($0.07) per share; adjusted non-GAAP net income was $0.1 million, or $0.00 per diluted share
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased $4.0 million Y/Y to $5.4 million
  • Software and subscription customers grew more than 20% sequentially, while bookings were up 2x
  • Refinanced outstanding term debt, saving $7 million in annualized interest expense
  • Acquired the video surveillance portfolio and assets from Pivot3, adding over 500 customers

Jamie Lerner, chairman and CEO, commented: “Demand in the first fiscal quarter continued to be strong, with a significant sequential increase in customer orders. A large majority of these orders were from hyperscale customers for products that are most affected by the current supply constraints. This dynamic has caused our backlog to reach unprecedented levels. Historically, our backlog has been 5% or less of our reported quarterly revenue. As of 1FQ22, our backlog has grown to $30 million, compared to approximately $14 million in the previous quarter and $2 million in the year-ago period. While not all backlog represents potential revenue in the following quarter, it demonstrates how robust demand is across our business, while also providing us significantly higher levels of visibility
 
Although the industry supply constraints have created near-term revenue headwinds, we continue to make progress on our long-term business transformation. Following the quarter close, we announced the acquisition of Pivot3’s video surveillance portfolio and assets, which is key step towards establishing a strong share position in the video surveillance market with a leading portfolio of hardware and software solutions. This acquisition will add over 500 customers and is projected to be slightly accretive to EBITDA through the remainder of fiscal 2022. More recently, we successfully refinanced our remaining outstanding term debt, allowing for more favorable borrowing terms and reducing future cash interest expense to help drive improvements to our bottom line.”

He concluded: “I am very pleased with our team’s continued execution and the increasing demand we are seeing for our products and software solutions. We are building upon our market share leadership position in the hyperscale market. Overall, I’m confident we are taking the right steps to position the company for long-term sustainable growth and profitability. And with the recent refinance of debt now behind us, we have completed an important milestone in our financial and business transformation, providing greater operating flexibility on our path to becoming the leader in video and unstructured data storage solutions.” 

1FQ22 vs. 4FQ21

  • Revenue was $89.1 million representing a decrease of 4% sequentially from $92.4 million last quarter.
  • Gross profit in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 was $37.3 million, or 42% of revenue, compared to $38.9 million, or 42% of revenue, in the prior quarter.
  • Total operating expenses were $37.3 million, or 42% of revenue, compared to $36.6 million, or 40% of revenue, in the prior quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $25.8 million in the quarter, compared to $24.1 million in the fourth fiscal quarter 2021. R&D expenses were $11.3 million compared to $11.7 million last quarter.
  • GAAP net loss was $4.2 million, or ($0.07) per share, compared to a net loss of $17.5 million, or ($0.35) per share, in 4FQ21 which included a debt extinguishment charge of $14.8 million related to the early retirement of $92.3 million of a senior secured term loan. Excluding stock compensation, restructuring charges and other non-recurring costs, non-GAAP adjusted net income was $0.1 million, or $0.00 per basic and diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $2.1 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, last quarter.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $5.4 million, compared to $8.3 million in the prior quarter.

Balance sheet and liquidity 

  • Cash and cash equivalents of $24.6 million as of June 30, 2021, compared to $33.1 million as of March 31, 2021. Both balances include $5.0 million in restricted cash required under the company’s Credit Agreements, and $0.5 million and $0.7 million of short-term restricted cash as of June 30, 2021, and March 31, 2021, respectively.
  • Outstanding long-term debt as of June 30, 2021, was $81.3 million, net of $8.8 million in unamortized debt issuance costs and $11.9 million in current portion of long-term debt. This compares to $90.9 million of outstanding debt as of March 31, 2021, net of $9.7 million in unamortized debt issuance costs and $1.9 million in current portion of long-term debt.
  • Total interest expense was $3.9 million, compared to $5.7 million for the three ended June 30, 2021, and March 31, 2021, respectively.

Outlook
Given the continued uncertainties in the supply chain for 2FQ22, the company expects the following guidance range:

  • Revenues of $88 million +/- $4 million (includes $2 million forecasted contribution from Pivot3 acquisition)
  • Non-GAAP adjusted net loss of $2 million, plus or minus $1 million
  • Non-GAAP adjusted net loss per share of $0.04, plus or minus $0.02
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $2 million, plus or minus $1 million

For FY22, the company expects the following revenue guidance range:

  • Revenues of $380 to $420 million, determined by the timing of supply chain improvements
  • Guidance excludes Pivot3 revenue for fiscal year 2022

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Seagate Lifts 4FQ21 Revenue Guidance From $2.85 to $2.95 Billion Plus or Minus $150 Million

 

On urging enterprise drive and crypto farming demand

Seagate Technology Holdings plc increased its revenue and earnings guidance for its fiscal fourth quarter ending July 2, 2021.

Strong, broad-based demand for our products into the mass capacity markets and distribution channel is driving upside to our fourth quarter outlook,” said Dave Mosley, CEO. “We are excited by the positive momentum we are seeing globally and leveraging the agility of our manufacturing operations to address the rapidly changing demand environment.”

 

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Qualstar Qi Desktop LTO Mac Tape Drive Bundle With Atto ThunderLink SH 3128 Thunderbolt to SAS Adapter

Thunderbolt 3 to 12Gb SAS/SATA adapters connect Thunderbolt desktop and mobile workstations to SAS/SATA storage devices with up to 2,750MB/s of SAS throughput.

Atto Technology, Inc. announces  portable LTO tape solution for macOS devices through their partnership with Qualstar Corporation.

The Qi Desktop LTO Mac solution extends the benefits of the firm’s single-drive, magnetic tape Qi system to users of macOS devices by including a ThunderLink SH 3128 Thunderbolt to SAS adapter in a single bundle.

The Qi Desktop LTO SAS is a compact and portable high-capacity tape storage device that can be equipped with an LTO-6, LTO-7, or LTO-8 tape drive and can store up to 12TB of data natively (30TB compressed) on a single tape cartridge. The Qi Desktop LTO Mac solution is for media, film and content production where the work location could change daily.

An Atto ThunderLink and Qi Desktop LTO Mac is a great combination and makes for a very useful and flexible package,” says Timothy J. Klein, president and CEO, Atto. “The portability is amazing; users can access or save huge files where ever their work takes them – in the field or just around the office.

The company’s ThunderLink SH 3128 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 to 12Gb SAS/SATA adapters connect Thunderbolt desktop and mobile workstations to SAS/SATA storage devices with up to 2,750MB/s of SAS throughput. They feature the firm’s Advanced Data Streaming (ADS) technology to reduce latency, ensuring a smooth flow of data onto the tape and minimizing the need for redundant passes, increasing the lifespan of the cartridge.

We are thrilled to be able to offer the exceptional storage capabilities and portability of the Qi to our macOS customers through our partnership with Atto,” says Steven N. Bronson, chairman, president and CEO, Qualstar. “Once chiefly the domain of enterprise storage solutions, LTO tape’s ongoing R/W speed increases have made it a storage solution that can benefit individuals and smaller teams as well.

The partnership between the two companies has been active this year with Qualstar announcing  in January the ExpressSAS 12Gb H1280 GT SAS/SATA HBA is available from the company as an exclusive accessory.

The Qi Desk LTO Mac solution is available from BackupWorks.com

 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Dell to Spin-Off 81% Equity Ownership of VMware

 VMware to pay $11.5-$12.0 billion special cash dividend to all stockholders

The VMware, Inc.‘s Special Committee of independent directors and Dell Technologies have agreed to terms in which VMware will be spun-off from Dell.

The terms include significant simplification to the corporate ownership structure and an $11.5 billion to $12.0 billion special cash dividend recommended by the independent Special Committee and declared by the VMware board to all its stockholders immediately prior to the spin-off and subject to the satisfaction of all closing conditions. Dell Technologies stockholders will receive a pro-rata distribution of VMware shares held by Dell, and Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners will own direct interests in VMware. The two companies have also finalized a commercial agreement that preserves and enhances their strategic partnership to deliver joint customer value.

VMware’s vision is to create an ubiquitous software and SaaS platform across all clouds and hardware infrastructure that helps accelerate customers’ digital transformation. A spin-off from Dell provides VMware increased freedom to execute its strategy, a simplified capital structure and governance model and additional strategic, operational and financial flexibility, while maintaining the strength of the 2 companies’ strategic partnership.

We will have an enhanced ability to extend our ecosystem across all cloud vendors and on-premises infrastructure vendors and a capital structure that will support growth opportunities,” said Zane Rowe, CFO and interim CEO, VMware. “Our strategic partnership with Dell Technologies remains a differentiator for us, and, as we execute on our multi-cloud strategy, we continue to provide customers our solutions and services on any public cloud and any infrastructure.”

In connection with Dell’ Schedule 13D amendment filed on July 15, 2020, the VMware board formed a Special Committee of independent directors that retained legal and financial advisors to review and evaluate any potential proposal from Dell concerning business opportunities outlined in the Dell filing. The Special Committee evaluated and recommended approval of the transaction and special cash dividend by VMware’s board of directors.

The VMware Special Committee is confident that the spin-off agreement will benefit all stockholders by establishing a simplified capital structure, positioning VMware well to execute on its strategy,” said Paul Sagan, lead independent VMware board member, special committee member and chair of the Compensation and Corporate Governance Committee.

By spinning off VMware, we expect to drive additional growth opportunities for Dell Technologies as well as VMware, and unlock significant value for stakeholders,” said Michael Dell, COB, VMware. “Both companies will remain important partners, with a differentiated advantage in how we bring solutions to customers.”

Through its commercial agreement, the 2 companies will continue to collaborate and co-engineer solutions that provide strategic value to customers, with Dell providing go-to-market scale for VMware’s product portfolio.

The spin-off will provide VMware increased strategic, operational and financial flexibility and agility to drive its growth strategy. This includes simplifying capital allocation decisions and eliminating the current dual class stock structure. In addition, VMware remains committed to an investment grade rating and profile.
The estimated value of the $11.5 billion to $12.0 billion special cash dividend that VMware will provide to all stockholders ranges from $27.43 per share to $28.62 per share, based on outstanding shares as of March 16, 2021.

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Synnex and Tech Data Merging in Transaction Valued at $7.2 Billion

 

Two huge WW IT distributors with $57 billion in total annual revenue

SYNNEX Corporation and Tech Data Corp.  entered into a definitive merger agreement under which the 2 companies will combine in a transaction valued at approximately $7.2 billion, including net debt.

The combined company, with approximately $57 billion in estimated pro forma annual revenues and a team of over 22,000 associates and colleagues, will provide customers and vendors with expansive reach across products, services, and geographies to accelerate technology adoption.

We are excited to partner with a world-class industry leader like Tech Data and believe that this combination will benefit all our stakeholders,” said Dennis Polk, SYNNEX president and CEO. “This transaction allows for accelerated revenue and earnings growth, an expanded global footprint, and the ability to drive significant operating improvements while continuing to create shareholder value. We look forward to working with the talented colleagues at Tech Data and expect our combined business will create the opportunity for team members to produce the highest levels of service to our partners.”

This is transformational for Tech Data, SYNNEX and the entire technology ecosystem. Together, we will be able to offer our customers and vendors exceptional reach, efficiency, and expertise, redefining the experience and value they receive,” said Rich Hume, Tech Data CEO. “The combined company will also benefit from significant financial strength to invest in its core growth platform as well as next gen cybersecurity, cloud, data, and IoT technologies, which are experiencing explosive growth due to work from home and return to office trends. We could not have reached this milestone without the hard work of our colleagues, and we look forward to working together with the SYNNEX team to seamlessly bring our companies together and to create meaningful value for all our stakeholders.”

Tech Data currently is wholly-owned by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. and their co-investors.

Apollo senior partner and co-head of private equity Matt Nord and Apollo partner Robert Kalsow-Ramos said: “When we acquired Tech Data, we saw the tremendous potential for transformative growth and long-term value creation. This transaction will accelerate the momentum that was already underway by uniting two outstanding companies for greater scale and financial strength to lead the industry. We are excited to remain a part of the new company’s continued success.”

Compelling Strategic Benefits

  • Creates a diversified global solutions aggregator with breadth and depth of capabilities. The combined company will have a global footprint that serves more than 100 countries across the Americas, Europe and AsiaPac regions, and a portfolio of more than 200,000 product and solutions offerings. This meaningful scale will provide increased value and purchasing efficiencies to the combined company’s 150,000 customers and more than 1,500 vendors and enable it to accelerate technology adoption and attract most innovative OEMs.
  • Capitalizes on premier core growth platforms and establishes product offerings in next gen, high-growth areas. The transaction combines each company’s core growth platforms to establish a differentiated end-to-end solutions portfolio and product offerings in some of the largest, highest growth product segments including cloud, data centers, security, IoT, services, 5G, and intelligent edge. The companies’ complementary product line cards and global distribution platform provide diversified revenue streams and cross selling opportunities, including the ability to bring a comprehensive everything-as-a-service (EaaS) offerings to the market.
  • Brings together companies with complementary cultures and a commitment to being an employer of choice in the global IT industry. Both firms have corporate cultures centered on innovation, agility, and customer service. These shared principles, as well as the expertise and talent from both organizations, will support a smooth integration following the close of the transaction.

Transaction Details

  • Under the terms of the agreement, Apollo Funds will receive an aggregate of 44 million shares of SYNNEX common stock plus the refinancing of existing Tech Data net debt and redeemable preferred shares of approximately $2.7 billion.
  • Upon closing of the transaction, SYNNEX shareholders will own approximately 55% of the combined entity, with Apollo Funds owning approximately 45%.
  • Rich Hume will lead the combined company as CEO. Dennis Polk will be executive chair of the board of directors and will take an active role in the ongoing strategy and integration of the business, among other responsibilities.
  • The combined company will have an 11-member board, including Hume, with six individuals appointed by SYNNEX and with Apollo Funds to have board designation rights based on ownership, initially including four total directors, 2 of whom will be independent.
  • Non-GAAP diluted EPS accretion of more than 25% is expected in year one post close, with further accretion expected in year two.
  • Net optimization and synergy benefits of $100 million are expected in the first year after closing, achieving a minimum of $200 million by the end of the second year.
  • The combined company will benefit from a strong financial foundation and an investment grade profile. Based on Lpro-forma adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.5 billion and expected combined debt of approximately $4.0 billion at close, debt-to-adjusted EBITDA is expected to be approximately 2.7x at transaction close and is expected to decline to approximately 2x within 12 months.
  • The transaction is expected to close in 2H21, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including approval by SYNNEX stockholders and regulatory approvals.
  • MiTAC Holdings Corporation and its affiliates, which collectively owned approximately 17% of SYNNEX shares as of January 22, 2021, have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction. Until the transaction is completed, the companies will continue to operate independently

 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Navigating cybersecurity in an uncertain world

Far from being defeated, ransomware and other cyberattacks are going from strength to strength. Threat actors are now pooling their criminal knowledge to create powerful cartels, on a mission to find new and ever more insidious ways to disrupt businesses and make huge profits as victims scramble to recover. To have any chance of winning the battle, IT professionals need to shift their focus because the pandemic has to some extent rewritten the rules.

So if it is inevitable that you will be the victim of cybercrime, in addition to taking preventative steps like deploying anti-virus security software and other counter measures, the best way to protect your data is to place a copy somewhere where you can be certain thieves won’t be able to reach it.

Today, the most secure and inaccessible form of storage, which is readily available to every business at a reasonable price point and capable of scaling from terabytes to even exabytes, is LTO Ultrium tape.

For streaming large, contiguous volumes when the tapes are accessible, LTO-8 technology is more or less equivalent in streaming performance to consumer grade flash and certainly much faster than the SATA HDDs most commonly used for private cloud object storage solutions).

 But in the new world in which we now live, these relatively manageable inconveniences pale into comparison when set aside what tape delivers to companies who suffer a ransomware attack and are locked outside all of their data. The best and most compelling recent example of this is what happened to Spectra Logic.

 Because ransomware is now so widespread, it’s very likely there are more companies benefiting from tape assistance than the news would have us be aware of. That certainly seems to be one of the takeaways from the ESG Tape Landscape report for 2020 available from the LTO Program. Amongst survey respondents, the most common mechanism used to recover from cyber attack is tape backup. And of those using isolated storage protection, 61% were using tape to put in place the crucial air gap that is almost impossible for online cyberattack to penetrate.

In my mind there is no doubt that in spite of being a very familiar and traditional storage platform, tape support for backup and archiving should remain a key part of the circular fort of layered defences against the threat of cyberattack and ransomware.