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EMC, IBM Lead in Midrange Storage

Both are positioned at forefront of fast-growing segment, says B&S Insider report

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are both positioned at the forefront of the fast-growing midrange storage systems market, according to the September report from Byte and Switch Insider.

The "Midrange Storage Systems" report shows that competition in this sector is fierce -- and that alliances are playing a key role in how it's shaking out.

IBM, for example, has parlayed its relationship with LSI Logic Storage Systems Inc. to deliver a comprehensive midtier storage portfolio that "faces off well against market-leader EMC's Clariion line," according to the report. Also contributing to IBM's success are a "peerless global sales force and consulting operation," the report says.

Meanwhile, EMC has raised its stature in the midrange thanks to a reengineering of its Clariion family over the past year as well as through its partnership with Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL). The company has also "overhauled a corporate culture that often rankled storage competitors and IT managers alike," backing off hard-sell tactics and pricing its products competitively, the report says.

The report -- based on interviews with vendors, industry consultants, and customers -- focuses on the seven primary players in the market: Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), IBM, Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW). In addition to summarizing and comparing the companies' offerings, the report analyzes their strategies and identifies primary areas of concern for each.

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