Cloud
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4/27/2009
04:50 PM
John Foley
John Foley
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Cloud Vendor Cassatt Faces The End

Cassatt, a six-year-old enterprise software company, is "close to the end" of operations, according to Forbes. Cassatt had positioned its data center management software as a platform for private clouds, but the startup's steep licensing fees are apparently more than IT departments are willing to spend in this economy.

Cassatt, a six-year-old enterprise software company, is "close to the end" of operations, according to Forbes. Cassatt had positioned its data center management software as a platform for private clouds, but the startup's steep licensing fees are apparently more than IT departments are willing to spend in this economy.Forbes writer Quentin Hardy quotes Cassatt founder and CEO Bill Coleman as saying his company is "close to the end." The article attributes Cassatt's problems to difficulty in closing big orders and a resistance to change among its target customers.

"I thought I could give companies something radical that had a proven return on investment, and they would be willing to change all their companies' computer policies and procedures to get that," Coleman tells Forbes. "Right now it's hard to get people to get beyond proof of concept tests or a data center energy analysis."

After meeting with Coleman four months ago, I was struck by how expensive Cassatt's Active Response software was. It started at $250 per server and went up to $2,500 per server for its full-blown capabilities (server workload management, high application availability across multiple data centers, etc.). Multiply that by thousands of servers, and the fees translate into millions of dollars. Coleman says one customer's deployment rang up, before discounts, at $50 million. (See my original post "Million-Dollar Private Clouds.")

As I asked at the time: How many businesses can afford to deploy private clouds at those prices? The answer is not enough to keep Cassatt going. Back in January, Coleman was outwardly optimistic, telling me that Cassatt was on track to turn cash-flow positive in the first quarter if sales held up.

At the time of this post, there's no mention on Cassatt's Web site of the problems at hand. Coleman told Forbes that he's been shopping the company for a potential acquisition, but so far no takers. Cassatt VP of marketing Jay Fry, in a post on Twitter, says there's a "flicker of interest" from one or two potential acquirers, but that it's "not looking good."

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