Every software company gets to a certain point where it has enough market share, notoriety and money to take it all to the next level. DataMirror Corporation, the number three seller of AS/400 system mirroring and high availability software that actually started out in the Unix mirroring market in 1993, is getting ready to give […]
Every software company gets to a certain point where it has enough market share, notoriety and money to take it all to the next level. DataMirror Corporation, the number three seller of AS/400 system mirroring and high availability software that actually started out in the Unix mirroring market in 1993, is getting ready to give Lakeview Technology and Vision Solutions, the number one and number two mirroring product vendors in the AS/400 market, a serious run for their midrange’s money. The edge that DataMirror is going to exploit is that its software not only allows companies to back up their files and applications on to mirrored systems, but that it actually can be used to transform data stored in one midrange system to a completely incompatible one. Hence the name Transformation Server. Transformation Server can suck in data from DB2/400, Sybase, Oracle, SQL Server format on NT or Sybase or Oracle format on HP- UX, AIX or Solaris and pump it out in any one of those formats. Obviously, such programs will have great usefulness as companies build data warehouses and e-commerce sites on platforms that are less expensive to acquire than their legacy systems, be they AS/400 or Unix servers. That’s one reason why DataMirror has reported second quarter revenues up 62% to $5.3m (figures converted to US dollars) while profits tripled to $580,000 or $0.06 per share. For the six months ended June 30, revenues rose 61% to $8.9m and profits were up to $0.06 per share, compared to a small loss during last year’s first six months. The midrange software business is very seasonal, and DataMirror expects to make 60% of its sales in the second half, which puts the company in the $25m ballpark for 1998. At that size, it is a lot easier to raise capital and get to $100m, where things get even easier. Another reason DataMirror’s numbers are growing fast is that the company has joined forces with IBM’s AS/400 sales reps, who have been pushing DataMirror’s Transformation Server since last November. That’s where a lot of the revenue increase is coming from. (Neither IBM nor DataMirror are specific about what sales come from the deal, of course.) Under the IBM deal, customers who buy a high-end S30 or S40 Apache server get a 20% discount on DataMirror’s Transformation Server as well as on its ObjectMirror (which provides real-time mirroring between AS/400s) and SwitchOver System (which is a high-speed electronic switch and software that links it to ObjectMirror so that in the event of a system failure, end users are passed automatically and instantly to the mirror system). At this point, DataMirror has over 600 customers, which is a lot for the HA market. (Most companies don’t mirror systems, even though hardware and software are relatively cheap.) Its biggest customers include Harley-Davidson, Duracell, Seagrams, Sony, Goldman Sachs, and Baxter Healthcare; Perot Systems has just signed on to start pushing its products. DataMirror has also signed agreements with JD Edwards to support that company’s data warehousing initiatives. Perhaps more significant is the fact that DataMirror has just signed new deals with IBM to help Big Blue build better AS/400 clustering than it currently offers. (AS/400s can be clustered, but it is far from efficient or easy.) The Markham, Ontario company expects to beat Lakeview Technology and Vision Solutions to market with AS/400 clustering products. It is also working on versions of its software to support DB2 database on IBM mainframes running MVS and OS/390 and has plans to extend its data base and operating support in the Unix area. DataMirror also has plans to support a forthcoming pure Java DBMS from DataBahn, a West Coast startup that DataMirror has invested in (the Java DBMS is in beta now.) But before all of that happens, DataMirror wants to get a good grip on the NT market before its rivals decide to jump in along side it. DataMirror has just announced Transformation Server for SQL Server 4.1.10, which includes ODBC support for six new target data bases running on Windows NT: Microsoft Access, Sybase Adaptive Server, Sybase SQL Anywhere, Oracle 7.3, Informix and DB2/NT. The product also includes various performance enhancements and now supports all text and image formats supported in Microsoft SQL Server. The company also announced update to SQL Pump, its replication tool for Lotus Notes databases. SQL Pump 6.2 allows companies to replicate Notes data bases to more than 30 ODBC-compliant databases and is the result of a new alliance DataMirror has signed with Lotus.