“OWC acquires LumaForge.” These will probably be three of the best words you hear/read in 2021 if you care about storage solutions and the content creation community. For over 30 years, OWC has committed to providing hardware and computing solutions for Mac and PC enthusiasts in disparate industries, particularly media and tech. That commitment has included both quality and affordability. OWC has created a foundation of conservation, hardware sustainability, and cost-efficiency to provide excellent products at excellent prices with their line of Memory, External Drives, SSDs, Mac & PC docking solutions.
“I am excited to welcome the amazing LumaForge team and solutions into the OWC Family. This acquisition strengthens our enterprise/server storage capabilities. It enables an even broader lineup of solutions to serve the needs of video, photography, and music professionals with some exceptional new offerings. Jellyfish and LumaForge customers will continue receiving support and development – and at the same time, this trusted technology will flourish and have a whole new level of support and engagement within the OWC family.”Larry O’Connor, OWC Founder & CEO
LumaForge has been on the scene for a much shorter period of time. Since 2015, they have created a respected brand in the shared storage space with their Jellyfish line of products—Jellyfish Mobile, Jellyfish Tower, and Jellyfish Rack.
“We started this company because we realized there was a need among those in the media community to be able to collaborate with shared storage systems without needing an IT degree,” said LumaForge co-founder Sam Mestman. “Creating easy-to-use plug and play options like the Jellyfish has contributed to our accelerated growth and usage in the industry.”
LumaForge is a company that designs solutions for video teams and creatives around the world. Now that it has become part of the OWC family, the team will branch out in ways it hadn’t previously imagined creating solutions that span the entire ecosystem of OWC products.
For Larry O’Connor, OWC started 33 years ago at the age of 14 when he realized he could install RAM for people faster, better, and cheaper than Apple could do it. He never looked back and OWC is now a worldwide vendor of just about every computer peripheral and storage device you can think of.
For Neil, Sam, Josh, and Eric, it began five years ago when they realized they could pull servers out of the server room, edit 4k and higher video collaboratively from it, and make it so that anybody could set one up in minutes and not need to call IT. They haven’t looked back since and their Jellyfish servers have transformed the workflows of video teams around the world.
“OWC is one of the most innovative and enduring companies in our space,” said Josh Minney, LumaForge’s CEO. “Their commitment to solving hard problems and putting the customer first perfectly aligns with our values at LumaForge. The team and technology our customers have depended on are only going to get stronger and more robust in the coming months and years.”
What the Future Has In Storage
Whenever a larger company swallows up a smaller one, there is always the fear among die-hard fans and customers of the smaller one if quality or customer service they’ve been accustomed to are going to devolve. (Just ask any customer of a company acquired by Microsoft.) But as LumaForge Founder Sam Mestman said, “There is simply no better company to acquire LumaForge than OWC. Their passion for customer satisfaction and support, expertise in manufacturing and engineering, and incredible ecosystem of products is going to be a source of huge inspiration for the LumaForge Team.”
OWC’s acquisition of LumaForge is also a great example of how the expertise and accomplishments of the smaller will only further enhance the offering of the larger, while at the same time empowering the smaller firm (and its customers) to do so much more. Sam continues, “Being able to layer LumaForge’s workflow expertise, software design, and ability to make things that are complicated easy for the average person, is going to allow us to kick down some big doors and change the game for businesses, schools, and DIY’ers around the world.”
Gergana Angelova has been with LumaForge since the beginning. As LumaForge’s VP of Product & Customer Experience, and the first official employee, she has seen the company evolve over the years to become a respected leader in its space. She feels this new stage of the company is the most exciting and significant. “Working with the OWC team will give us the opportunity to expand our product offerings, build more tools for our software ecosystem, and continue to deliver excellent customer care on an even larger scale.”
Fostering Community. Faster. Together.
Perhaps the industries that will most benefit from this union is the professional creative artist community. Both companies have grown vibrant communities of followers, particularly in the worlds of creative artists like filmmakers, YouTubers, broadcasters, DIY’ers, photographers, and musicians. In addition to the hardware, network, and computer service-oriented needs, the community also thrives on the sharing of knowledge.
LumaForge and OWC…
…have also each leveraged the power of video to reach, educate, and inspire their respective bases. LumaForge has a YouTube channel chock full of educational videos on everything from network storage to camera and post-production tutorials. You can also expect a continuation of their Faster Together podcast and lecture series featuring leaders in the film and video production worlds. The commitment to educating and solving problems for creatives around the world will not change.
Being able to combine the LumaForge community and education efforts with the already thriving OWC community infrastructure is going to be compelling. OWC has a thriving YouTube channel, the Rocketyard blog, and two podcasts: OWC RADiO and Leaders & Game Changers. You can expect all of these respective channels to continue to grow, with each taking advantage of the other’s network of professionals.
Performance goes to a whole other level
The speed, stability, and performance of OWC products are on par with the most revered RAID, network, and peripheral solutions, and their work in the industry is a testament to that. Whether it’s the role that OWC’s Jupiter NAS played in the completion of the Netflix documentary “Kiss the Ground” (finished in 4:4:4 4K); or the Accelsior 4M2’s role in re-mastering The Godfather III for release; or even a portable drive like the Envoy Pro Elektron in producing Grammy-award winning artists – OWC’s product lineup is practically unparalleled when it comes to working with 4K and greater media.
It’s fair to say that LumaForge is no slouch in this area either…
- The LumaForge Jellyfish Mobile is the first plug-and-play video workflow server that comes with a handle. It excels with teams of four to six editors working with 4K media on the road or at the office.
- The Jellyfish Tower matches the ease-of-use and plug-and-play magic powers of the Mobile and is as powerful as something you’d find in your server room. It’s quiet enough to stand on its own in your edit bay and powerful enough to take on six or more editors working with 4K media and beyond.
- The Jellyfish Rack is the most powerful in the lineup of plug-and-play solutions. It is intended to live alongside all your other server room equipment. Jellyfish Rack is the preferred solution for ultra-high-bandwidth connectivity (25GbE/50GbE) and can seamlessly merge into the most complex enterprise network environments. All existing customers will be receiving direct communication regarding their support and upgrade paths within the coming weeks.
The combination of these two excellent sets of products and services will create an ecosystem few other providers will be able to match. For instance, LumaForge’s solution being introduced into OWC’s global supply chain should be music to the ears of LumaForge’s customers around the world.
“Some of LumaForge’s largest installations and high profile customers are in and around Europe. Now with OWC’s global footprint, I’m looking forward to providing localized sales and support for the rapidly evolving broadcast and new media markets here in EMEA.”Ronny Courtens, Product Manager – EMEA
When the OWC and LumaForge’s teams begin to work together, where things are now will only be scratching the surface of the possibilities customers can expect to come.
The best is yet to come
This is only the beginning of a new adventure for OWC, LumaForge, and, more importantly, the millions of customers who use their products. In the proverbial example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, there is little doubt that OWC and LumaForge customers alike will be met with higher levels of product quality, community, and service across the board.