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SaaS Wave Breaks Big

But who exactly is buying these services?

A subtle, but significant, shift is underway in the storage industry, with more and more vendors turning to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, although there is a still a big question mark about who will actually use these products.

EMC is the latest big-name vendor to start banging this drum, unveiling its first SaaS offering last week, and singing the praises of the technology during its earnings call today.

"[SaaS] is a new market for us that will come in and add growth," explained Joe Tucci, the EMC CEO, this morning, putting SaaS in the same category as the burgeoning SMB and Web 2.0 markets.

EMC's SaaS focus, at least initially, is on online backup service and will be aimed at enterprise users looking to protect data held on desktops, laptops, and remote Windows Servers.

Symantec, which unveiled its Protection Network product last year, is also playing in this space. Like EMC, Symantec is also pushing online backup, although its product, now in beta, is targeted specifically at SMBs.

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