Optical/IP Networks

Akara Hacks Headcount

Optical storage system provider Akara Corp. is the latest in the SAN market to slash its headcount, laying off 42 employees, or roughly a third of its workforce, this week. The across-the-board layoff resulted in a final headcount of 80.

”No one is immune to these market conditions,” said a spokesperson for Akara, which received $30 million in funding just three months ago. “We have a conservative approach to business and we are preparing the company for next year,” she said. “The plan is to make sure we get through 2002.”

As well as cutting its headcount, this preparation also includes refocusing on who its customers are. Akara makes a multiservice edge switch that provides VPN (virtual private network) and subscriber management services as well as Sonet, DWDM, and Fibre Channel connectivity. It was originally targeting the storage service providers (SSPs), but since this market collapsed it has changed tack and is now selling its switch to enterprises (see WorldStor Slashes Headcount).

”We are going directly to enterprises, as the SSPs are not doing well now,” a company official said. Akara hopes to convince the top Fortune 50 companies, specifically banking and financial institutions, to deploy the switch for private-line Fibre Channel services as well as wide area connectivity via its DWDM and Sonet capabilities (see Akara Goes Wide ).

Others, like Nishan Systems Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), are banking on these companies adopting IP to transport storage data across wide area networks. But Akara doesn’t believe this will work. “IP plays a roll in storage but not moving business-critical data… There are too many issues with latency," Akara says. "Goldman Sachs & Co. is not going to use IP to move precious financial data around.”

Time will tell who wins this one, but it looks as if Akara is conserving its strength for a long fight.

The company is taking to the road later this month with Fibre Channel and optical allies -- ONI Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ONIS), Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), and GiantLoop Network Inc. -- to promote the FC-over-optical message across the U.S. (see Storage Seminars Kick Off). — Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch http://www.byteandswitch.com

Bill Gates' Mom 12/4/2012 | 7:43:54 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount Isn't 42 the answer to the universe? There must be some significance to this.

"Being around through 2002"? These are some mighty high ambitions. My son Bill had the same goals in 1988. Coincidence? I think not.

Who Karas? Akara.
lightningman 12/4/2012 | 7:43:50 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount I can't believe Akara layed off its star salesmen in Boston Chris Quinn and his side kick Joe LaBreque. This company is doomed now!
TriteReading 12/4/2012 | 7:43:49 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount Yeah, nice try Chris!
lightningman 12/4/2012 | 7:43:47 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount This company will come crawling to get Chris back, he had vision where the rest of the company was blind!
lo_mein_noodles 12/4/2012 | 7:43:43 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount WOW! You guys from LuxN(Lightningman and trite reading) are sure tempting fate. Kicking an ex-LuxN guy when he's down...especially when LuxN does not exactly look so strong right now...People in glass houses that can't do a ring..shouldn't throw rocks...they should probably....look for another job!! Ha Ha Ha

Hey lightreading editors....did you have the balls to revisit "Rich" at LuxN about the 30% layoffs they had? Yeah you know...the one he said thay didn't have? Or are you afraid to write bad press about an advertiser in these tough economic times?? It's hard to find new ad dollars...
lightningman 12/4/2012 | 7:43:28 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount lo mein,

I was really sincere about Chris. Akara lost an "A" player. Obviously he must have intimidated a few people in management.
lambdaguy 12/4/2012 | 7:43:26 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount Regardless of the people... Who really cares about Quinn? P-L-E-A-S-E !!
It comes down to management, technology advantages and funding.

Akara, was focused on SSP type solutions, and that market did dry up. They need customers and soon, or face the fate of the Chromatises of the world.
we need inovative companies out in the marketplace. They, in turn need customers!!
lightningman 12/4/2012 | 7:43:07 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount Lambdaguy,

What do you you mean when you say Akara needs customers. Since when did customers matter when it came to faking out the VC community. I think Akara really needs to focus on cutting burn rate, and surviving till the market rebounds. BTW Quinn is still the man.
jane_doe 12/4/2012 | 7:43:05 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount Who is this visionary - Chris Quinn?
Isn't he one of the founders of SAN technology?
lightningman 12/4/2012 | 7:42:45 PM
re: Akara Hacks Headcount Jane,

My misguided child, he was not the founder of SAN technology, he was the one voice in the night that spoke of a new world order. A world of virtualization and new efficiencies that Joe storage manager had not envisioned yet. He is the Osama bin Laden of the SAN world! He has gone underground, but will soon resurface with his one loyal disciple Joe LaBreque, and wipe out the non believers. Be prepared for the apocolypse that was fortold in the book of revelations. Quinn bears the mark "666" on his pee pee.
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