back to article Tintri rescued by DDN just hours after filing for Chapter 11

DataDirect Networks (DDN) has come to the rescue of Tintri just hours after the array maker filed for bankruptcy in the US under Chapter 11. Tintri had lodged the relevant paperwork in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court today, and the papers were just made available to the public. But as the ink was still drying, DDN confirmed it …

  1. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    I see silver lake on that list. I'm pretty sure they have a history. And will be one of the first to stop by DDN's cashier.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't forget about NEA. They also have a pattern: squeeze the other investors, and insist on having control of the management.

    My guess is that all of the VCs overplayed their hand, and then weren't willing to come up with the cash to fund the business problems they created.

    It's interesting that the CTO is the one effectively running the company. I've been in that situation -- it means that the other management didn't feel any commitment and bailed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ummmm

      The CTO was the CEO, and is the founder. You were saying?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe the CTO/co-founder was the reason the company failed.

      Seems strange Tintri got through so many C level staff.

  3. K Silver badge

    Great shame...

    Unfortunately, the storage market has been saturated for the past 10 years, with every start-up offering a very small unique selling point, but few had enough to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack.. Pile on top of this, Tier-1 vendors (HP, Dell EMC etc) guard their turf with jealousy, even willing to sell at a loss just to keep market share.

    I've looked at both Tintri and Nimble several times over the years, all gooey eyed at their marvellous products (and they are good!). But as a former IT manager for SME's (Now turncoat, and work in Security), this type of kit is a huge investment, yet I was asking the company to trust my judgement, and each time, I asked myself two questions -

    Will the vendor be around over the next 3-5 years? (Which is operational the shelf life)

    Can the vendor realistically deliver a robust 24/7 4hr support?

    And every-time, I came same conclusion - "Maybe they could". But that it self was not good enough, the answer had to be an emphatic "Yes" to both.

    In hindsight, I reckon the board at Tintri were probably kicking themselves for not flashing (pun intended) the Tier-1 vendors their assets and cashing out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great shame...

      To be successful, any start up needs good technology and great execution, with the latter spanning engineering (releases/quality), marketing (awareness), and sales (connecting with customers and closing deals).

      Tintri may have had great products and be known to folks who have monies, but their sales teams weren't great. Nimble and Pure left Tintri in their wake with what was a SAN. NetApp revitalized their company and kicked butt. Even EMC did well after their merger with Dell. Tintri sales teams, especially in NAM sat on their hands. I come from the VAR side and I can tell you the Tintri sales management could have done more to keep us motivated.

      Their mistake. They hired a global sales leader who never did a start up and was a jerk. And, when he didn't deliver rather than cut the thread they brought someone over him recently, who wasn't an executioner.

      And, then there was the distraction of going public. What the heck was the board thinking? Maybe it was an exit strategy for the investors, but it came at a tremendous cost to the employees. They went out with a valuable of almost a third of their peak. My heart goes out to all of them in engineering and other functions outside of sales who put their blood sweat and tears into the company.

  4. fredesmite
    Mushroom

    Violin Systems - REDUX

    Almost as bad as Violin !! They survived for how much longer ?

  5. cloudguy

    The flash storage gold rush is over...

    Well, this is reminiscent of the 1980s when everyone was starting a disk drive manufacturing business. There were too many entrants to survive and today only three have survived (Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital) after having acquired many of their competitors over the years. The flash array market is in a similar situation with too many manufacturers with too little to distinguish themselves from their competition. Some have gone public by taking on loads of debt to grab market share. Some have been acquired because it was the only way the VCs would see a pay day and some have failed. DDN is likely looking at Tintri as a relatively cheap way to get access to their flash technology and apply it to their own high-capacity storage lineup. For a while they will have to provide support for existing Tintri customers but the plan would be to move them to DDN branded storage products over time. The VCs may have made some bad bets on Tintri but that's the way it goes.

    1. fredesmite
      Happy

      Re: The flash storage gold rush is over...

      DDN is looking at the inventory of CUSTOMER INSTALLED BASE they can immediately grab for PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DDN is smart... too bad the employees will get screwed

    Former employee here...

    Tintri's core FS technology is still state of the art in the industry for scaling up. Just their core file system alone would be interesting to DDN if they want to go down a value-add scale-up storage route. I don't know if there is any value other than that which can be easily reconstructed.

    Their value prop eroded, especially after VMware introduced VSAN. The rest of the industry functionally caught up to them. They could have gone down the hyperconverged route or looked at adding customer valued functions like file services or even invest in solution development with apps, but they stayed with the legacy two-controller scale-up architecture. Nimble Storage frog leaped them. Nutanix frog leaped them. Pure frog leaped them.

    Most importantly, Tintri's sales force in the last four years sucked (balls?). Unlike their competition, it seemed to me that they lacked the urgency to acquire new accounts. I remember a quote from one of the sales leader, "we only want to touch an account that has $200K or more of annual spend." There was always finger pointing back to engineering/marketing/support.

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