News Briefs

Storage vendor Exabyte Corp. said in a recent quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it may be on the brink of bankruptcy. The manufacturer of tape drives, autoloaders and libraries showed operating losses for the last five years and cash reserves of only US$3 million. It also said in the filing that it had had negative cash flow for three years and a deficit of $83.8 million. It has borrowed to its full line of credit with Silicon Valley Bank. A year ago, the company acquired Ecrix, a start-up manufacturing a unique tape drive technology. The deal failed to help pull Exabyte out of its financial slump. According to the SEC filing, “certain factors related to the company’s results of operations raise substantial doubt about whether it can continue as a going concern.” In July, the company restructured and laid off employees. The company estimates it will be able to fund its operations through the end of 2002. – Deni Connor, Network World Fusion (U.S.)

Hitachi Data, NetApp new NAS duo

Under an agreement signed Dec. 4, storage solution providers Hitachi Data Systems Corp. (HDS) and Network Appliance Inc. (NetApp) will jointly market and sell NAS solutions. HDS will offer NetApp enterprise NAS gateway solutions for Hitachi Freedom StorageT environments managed by HDS’s HiCommandT Management Framework tools. The NAS gateway will be available for Hitachi Freedom Storage high-end and modular products starting early 2003. The partnership will make it easier for customers to deploy a storage pool that can be shared across both storage attached network (SAN) and NAS applications, said Jeff Goldstein, general manager of Mississauga, Ont.-based Network Appliance Canada Ltd. “Most customers are concerned with doing more with less,” Goldstein said, adding that both companies are committed to an “open and collaborative business model. Working with HDS to deliver an open standards-based enterprise NAS gateway solution allows NetApp to offer a more robust array of full-line storage solutions for all types of business, Goldstein said. The deal plays on the respective strengths of both companies; HDS has been fervently developing its storage solution strategy and market share within the SAN market, while NetApp has been a mainstay within the best-of-breed enterprise NAS solution space. According to IDC Canada, the storage market is hot – the Toronto-based research firm has the growing Canadian storage market pegged at about $4.3 billion by 2003, of which about $1.5 billion is external storage.

Canadians most exposed to ID theft

Canadians are more vulnerable to identity theft because Canada is lagging behind industrial nations in employing counterfeit and tamper resistant cards, warned Catherine Johnston, president & CEO of the Advanced Card Technology Association of Canada (ACT Canada) last October. In a speech to the Mississauga Board of Trade’s Technology Association, Johnston reported that “every 30 seconds someone in North America pays the devastating price of having their personal identity stolen.” ACT Canada promotes the awareness, understanding and use of all advanced card technologies across a wide range of applications. These technologies include: smart (contact, contactless and radio frequency), optical, capacitive and emerging card technologies; as well as complementary technologies such as biometrics.

“By employing these established new technologies, we can stem the growth of identity theft, and substantially reduce the huge cost Canadians are paying through higher taxes to offset fraud in social programs, in higher prices for consumer goods, and increasing service charges,” she said.

ACT Canada reports that counterfeiting in Canada includes the creation of false bank notes, forged credit cards, traveller’s cheques, passports, health cards, SIN cards, photo ID Driver’s licenses, and other related identity documentation. Johnston also noted that counterfeit credit cards now represent the single largest category of credit card fraud in Canada.

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