Software – the “Secret Sauce”

While the SCSI adapter marketplace would seem to be somewhat crowded and populated by some large companies with lots of resources it was possible to gain a competitive advantage, and that was through software. As I stated earlier, SCSI was unique in that each time a new device was added to the SCSI bus new software was needed. Two types of software were required, driver software which is software that interfaces the device to the operating system, and utility software for configuring, formatting, or using the device.

Our first software package was called “Disk Maestro” and it reflected the main type of devices connected to the SCSI bus early on. Because we supplied many of the major disk drive manufacturers we had inside information on how to make the disk work with the operating systems. Many times we were months ahead of the competition in supporting new larger disk drives. Operating system vendors saw this and we forged close relationships with Microsoft, SCO, Novell, and IBM. Even though we were a smaller company than some of our competitors, Future Domain was always known to be at the leading edge of software development.