NAB shorts: Isilon

by Robin Harris on Wednesday, 23 April, 2008

Isilon at NAB
Stopped by the Isilon booth a couple of times. Traffic seemed steady. Isilon held their meetings away from the booth, so it didn’t have the level of activity of, say, Omneon’s booth.

NAB is their biggest show of the year and the market where they have the biggest footprint. Their booth was the same size as EMC’s nearby – and much quieter booth – despite a Hulk display that looked like an embarrassed afterthought.

Personnel changes at Isilon
Isilon CEO Sujal Patel was there. We discussed my theory that Peter van Oppen had joined the board as a prelude to becoming CEO. Sujal assured me I’d gotten it wrong – that he was in it for the long haul, with Peter as a senior and trusted advisor.

Looking at him I believed. Sujal has developed the gravitas of a leader. Watching his company almost die – and his net worth drop from $75 million to $12 million – seems to have concentrated his mind.

He’s also hired a CTO. Looks like Sujal has moved on for good.

The StorageMojo take
Anyone waiting for Isilon to lay down and die has a long wait. While they may have alienated Wall Street – for good reason – customers seem to like what they have. They’re coming through the storm.

Comments welcome, of course. Isilon was also doing the “shown but not announced” thing with some products due later this year. Sujal asked that I not write about them and I said I wouldn’t. But the engineers have been busy.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

zax April 23, 2008 at 11:15 am

I know the Isilon team pretty well. To correct you, they didn’t “hire” a CTO. Paul Rutherfod has been a part of Isilon since he left ADIC a few years ago (as the ADIC CTO). He was a director, then VP, now CTO.

Also, I would be interested to see a review of Omneon’s technology and how it compares with Isilon.

Ben April 24, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Interesting re: Peter van Oppen —Paul Rutherford, Isilon’s new CTO was CTO for Peter
van Oppen at ADIC before he found a buyer for ADIC. Think he is doing the same for Isilon
in view of low level of esteem on the “Street”. Still think they will surprise.

Matt April 29, 2008 at 12:54 am

Correct me if I’m wrong but the way I see it, Omneon actually follow the same business model as the ‘traditional’ media industry technology suppliers. By that I mean the likes of Avid, Quantel or Sony who will tend to sell you an ingest\edit\playout platform with integrated storage and tell you in no uncertain terms that you’ll have difficulty integrating with anyone else’s storage.

The novelty in the Omneon gear is that their storage is well… novel. They do have a really nice, integrated approach with common hardware and software components across their range. This means that they achieve the aim of end-to-end interoperability much more effectively than can those traditional players who still suffer from ‘media breaks’ at various points.

Everyone I’ve seen using Omneon stuff seems to rave about it.

Joe May 19, 2008 at 7:00 pm

I asked Rick Watson about Isilon share price, and we had a long talk. Short of it is, there have been issues with the shareholders, but regardless of all that, they’ve posted >100% revenue growth. I.e., yes! People are buying.

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