SGI Buys Copan, Plans Storage Portfolio Expansion

SGI on Tuesday unveiled the acquisition of Copan, which was best-known for its development of the Massive Array of Idle Disks (MAID) storage platform.

Copan's MAID keeps only those drives which are in active use spinning at any given time while the rest remain idle.

The technology, which is primarily employed for "write-once-read-occasionally" applications in disk-to-disk backup and virtual tape library (VTL) storage appliances, reduces power consumption and prolongs the life of the drives, SGI said.

Some other storage vendors with MAID technology such as Nexsan spin down disks to slower speeds without turning them completely off.

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With the acquisition, SGI plans to expand its portfolio of purpose-built, massively scalable high performance storage products, particularly for "persistent data," which is defined as data that is retained for future reference or access but which is infrequently accessed.

SGI paid $2 million for the assets and some liabilities of Copan, but none of the debts of the company. Copan struggled financially in the past couple years before going bankrupt after raising about $90 million in venture capital in at least four rounds of funding.

With the acquisition, SGI plans to keep Copan's Longmont, Colo. office open.

Mark Barrenechea, SGI CEO, said in a statement, "The need for real-time access to long-term persistent data is expected to continue to expand. This acquisition will allow SGI to participate directly in this market."

SGI itself is the result of the $25 million acquisition of the company formerly known as Silicon Graphics by Rackable Systems last April.