The Data Storage Industry in SoCal

Little by little, industry by industry, I plan on building useful Southern California reference posts. My hope is to get plenty of feedback in comments to help build the most complete and useful listings possible. I’m sure I’m not hitting every local company in these industry-focused posts…but I am pretty sure I’m including all the heavy hitters. That’s the useful place to start anyway. If you know there’s a Broadcom or a Disney in town, you can bet that they’ll be orbited by supporting companies, spin-offs, and talent. So today I take a first pass at data storage in the region.

As with all tech and digital media industries, storage comprises a number of sub-industries. We can divide by hardware or software; solid state, magnetic, or tape media; cloud-based or on-premises and probably other characteristics. The big guns in storage are among the longest-tenured: Western Digital, QLogic, and Emulex. To my knowledge, there are no huge winners yet in cloud-based storage or software only.

Storage in SoCal is neatly divided into two geographical areas—Orange Count and the (deep) Valley. Industry companies have a tendency to cluster. San Diego hosts a few players as well, including one (Nirvanix) that may eventually break far ahead of the cloud-native pack.

Orange County

Aristos Logic (Foothill Ranch, now Adaptec): Here’s part of their blurb from years ago before being acquired: “…Our purpose built RAID Storage Processor devices; coupled with our enterprise-class RAID Software and RAID controller Reference Designs….” (The sentence continues for a while from there, and I can’t support that!)

CMS Products (Irvine, blog): Wide variety of solid state and magnetic hardware and software to go with it. Still rocking a circa ’97 vintage website. They’re now two generations (by my count) of website design behind. Hire a designer, guys!

Emulex Corporation (Costa Mesa, jobs, blog, ticker): Emulex provides hardware for the ultra-high data rates required by highest-end networked storage systems. They have expertise in all the major flavors: fibre channel, iSCSI, and gigabit Ethernet.

Top Executive-Search-Los Angeles  - The Data Storage Industry in SoCalJobs SoCal Industries Kingston Technology (Fountain Valley, jobs, blog): One of the world’s largest suppliers of DRAM modules. Kingston has been a staple in Orange County since the late 80’s. They’ve sailed against the tide, stayed private, and have built a sterling reputation for employee relations. During the boom years of storage, everybody at the company received legendary bonuses.

Paragon Software (Irvine, jobs, blog): Packaged and downloadable hard drive management software—recovery and backup–for small and medium business.

QLogic (Aliso Viejo, jobs, ticker): They complete directly with Emulex with their line of high speed network and bus adaptors on using various protocols.

STEC (Santa Ana, jobs, blog, ticker): One of the few pure plays in SSD technology—the higher performance, solid state replacement for high capacity magnetic storage.

Western Digital (Lake Forest, jobs, blog, ticker): One of the global giants in manufacturing disk drives with a great reputation as an employer.

Quest Software (Aliso Viejo, jobs, ticker): Quest is a real software generalist. They have a range of problems they tackle—including storage, reminiscent of an IBM or HP.

The Valley

DataDirect Networks (Chatsworth, jobs): DDN makes storage solutions for the enterprise, not quite as “cloud native” as Nirvanix, but moving in that direction.

iQStor (Newbury Park, jobs): SAN (storage area network) solutions of RAID (redundant array independent disks) drives. I try not to use acronyms without definitions…but I’m sure you’ll find plenty I’ve missed…

Nexsan Technologies (Thousand Oaks, jobs, Facebook): More SAN.

Qualstar Corporation (Simi Valley, jobs, ticker): Tape backup systems. Not THE most cutting edge technology on this list.

NovaStor Corporation (Agoura Hills, jobs, blog): Known for top-notch SMB disk management and backup solutions. Now making a mark @ the enterprise level.

San Diego

Overland Storage (San Diego, jobs, ticker): For this company, I learned the diff between SAN and Network attached storage(NAS). Overland has both technologies, plus a little tape for good measure.

Nirvanix (San Diego, jobs, blog): Enterprise cloud storage, and even sexier than it sounds.

BakBone (San Diego): While writing this, discovered that BakBone has been scooped up by Quest Software. Link to their product line:

Arkeia Corporation (Carlsbad, jobs): Backup “appliances” (which generally means super-good software interface). They mention that their stuff does deduplication as well. That seems pretty impressive.

Lonely South Bay Company

Active Storage (Torrance, jobs): Specialized RAID storage systems for Mac-based media creation professionals.