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StorageTek Moving Into ‘Storage as Utility’ Market

Storage hardware and software specialist StorageTek (www.storagetek.com) is moving into the emerging "storage as utility" market.

The Louisville, Colo.-based company announced this week the launch of storage utility services that allow customers to pay for storage on a cost-per-MB/month similar to the way they pay for electricity or water.

The announcement comes about two weeks after Waltham, Mass.-based startup StorageNetworks Inc. (www.storagenetworks.com) announced it was building its infrastructure to provide storage as a utility. Compaq Computer Corp. has also talked about a future that involves storage as a utility, although the computer maker hasn't announced any specific offerings yet.

Aside from being a $2.3 billion company with an established storage business, StorageTek also differs from StorageNetworks in its approach. StorageNetworks is buying up dark fibre bandwidth around the country and plans to open Storage Points of Presence where the company will host storage for customers. The first Storage-POP is expected to open in July in Houston.

StorageTek, on the other hand, will put storage devices in customer sites. The product line, available today, comes in four flavors: tape, disk, a more flexible Storage-Area-Network that allows customers to pay only for the amount of storage they use at a particular time of day, and backup and disaster recovery.

Options include on-site storage management by StorageTek employees, remote monitoring and remotely hosted storage.

StorageTek expects the service offerings to appeal to smaller companies than the large enterprises that buy StorageTek's storage hardware and software solutions. Current customers of StorageTek's storage utilities include Internet Data Centers and Internet companies. StorageTek plans to expand its reach to enterprise customers through partnerships with Internet Service Providers, Internet Data Centers, Application Service Providers and telecommunications companies. --Scott Bekker

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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