2010: The Stars Align, and What’s Ahead in 2011

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Spectra Logic was recently honored with an innovative product award for our TFinity tape library. As I stood up to accept our award — the 4th product award this year for the TFinity — it struck me just what a year it has been. Going into fiscal 2010, we knew we were very well positioned against our competitors. We were set to release the TFinity,  we were leading in tape technology innovations due to steadfast R&D investments, and our archive and backup solutions were continuing to gain traction and market share. But fiscal 2010 turned out better than even I had imagined as the stars perfectly aligned for Spectra Logic.  

An economy that demands efficiency, customers that demand high returns on investment, longer sales cycles, tighter budgets and constrained headcounts may have paralyzed some companies, but Spectra Logic came out on top with the best people and the best technology. We ended our fiscal year 2010 on June 30 with record-setting revenues and 25 percent year-over-year growth for our Enterprise and mid-sized tape libraries and disk-based appliances. We boosted our bottom line growth and posted our fourth consecutive year of profitability. This strong showing validates the strength of the tape market for vendors with innovative products that customers increasingly depend on for large, highly reliable archive and backup data stores.

More than ever, enterprise customers are embracing our large-scale libraries ? the Spectra T950 and TFinity, which are fast becoming the preferred storage platform for large, data-intensive environments. Our TSeries tape libraries deliver the highest data reliability, scalability and density in the market.  Our goal was to develop and deliver tape solutions that offered ‘no compromises’ when compared to disk – and we succeeded. Customers across market sectors, including high-performance computing (HPC) and media and entertainment, rely on our enterprise tape libraries and disk appliances. Whether it’s due to the economy, our amplified marketing and sales efforts, great referrals from delighted customers ? or a combination of all three — we are now seeing demand from companies of every size and market sector.  Simply stated, customers want the most efficient data archive and backup solutions available — and we give it to them.

Spectra Logic not only leads the market with superior and innovative technology solutions, but we helped set the stage for industry-wide improvement by co-founding the Active Archive Alliance. We joined industry pioneers including Compellent Technologies, FileTek, and QStar Technologies to form the alliance in April 2010. The alliance is dedicated to promoting active archives for simplified, online access to all archived data on both disk and tape. More than a trend, active archiving is set to revolutionize how companies manage their ever-increasing stores of data, particularly through the new capability to extend the file system to tape and bring data on tape into the online archive.

Another area with accelerated growth in 2010 was our International operations, which included a 35 percent increase in revenue for Europe. We are continuing our global expansion, so you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the coming year, including growing our International sales team and participating in top industry trade shows abroad.

We enjoy great partnerships with our worldwide SpectraEDGE channel partners, who played an instrumental role in driving our growth and success. We added more than a dozen new programs and work with 475+ partners, and our SpectraEDGE channel program was recognized this year with the highest ‘5 Star Partner Rating’ from CRN Everything Channel. We are committed to providing our partners with the support they need to profitably succeed.

Looking forward, we will continue to focus on growing the Active Archive Alliance by adding additional strategic partners and offering Active Archive as the most innovative solution for our data-hungry customers. And, we foresee a number of trends that will benefit Spectra and our customers, including:

  • Data centers will implement tape-based Active Archives as a means of offloading primary disk storage;
  • Tape will be the preferred medium for 80 percent of all data in electronic archives;
  • Hardware-based data verification will be considered a requirement in all archive storage platforms;
  • SAS disk will replace SATA for archive/backup storage by the end of FY11;
  • SSD will be arriving in commoditized arrays, dropping cost per GB, and moving into a position as the preferred medium for performance disk; and
  • Dedicated deduplication appliances will fall out of favor.  Deduplication will preferably occur in file systems and backup software applications.

I’m pleased to say that we not only weathered the storm last year, but overcame all that it threw at us. In 2011, Spectra will continue to do what we do best: deliver the most advanced, value-driven data backup and archive solutions in the market, and create breakthrough technology innovations that our competitors struggle to emulate and our customers and partners have come to rely on and expect.