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There's nothing new about storage suppliers' infatuation with small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as a glance at this publication's archives will attest. See: IBM Targets SMBs, EMC Darts Into Midtier NA$, Tech Data Bundles SANs for SMB, and Iomega Ships NAS Boxes for SMBs.

All those law firms, dental offices, stores, real estate shops... all so solvent, so in need of data management, and so challenged when it comes to storage. Can you say "low-hanging fruit"?

So it's no surprise to see a host of big storage suppliers once again serenading SMBs, particularly given the latest dip in enterprise spending. This week alone, we've seen announcements about SMB storage gear from Adaptec, Dell, Network Appliance (and, by association, IBM).

At the same time, enterprise players like HDS are joining the fray with their own tale of shrinkage to tell. In HDS's case, though, the reduction in bulk and pricing can't make the behemoth Universal Storage Platform into an SMB favorite. Instead, the vendor's opting to sell to the "midrange" audience.

There are a few things going on here. First, storage vendors are always looking for greener pastures, and, as noted, the enterprise end of the field isn't yielding right now.

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