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EqualLogic Draws Bank's Interest

A major U.S. bank based in Boston is checking out the beta version of upstart EqualLogic Inc.'s IP storage subsystem -- and the bank's storage manager says it beats anything he's seen from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) or Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) in a long time (see EqualLogic Debuts 'PeerStorage' and EqualLogic Takes Flight).

The bank in question requested anonymity [ed. note: principally because it has petabytes of storage from the aforementioned suppliers!] but its interest in EqualLogics new approach gives credit to the startup's plans, which therefore deserve a mention.

Nashua, N.H.-based EqualLogic has been developing its architecture, which it calls PeerStorage, for about 18 months. The idea is to build storage arrays on a brick-by-brick basis, paying as you go, with the system taking care of the labor-intensive administrative tasks involved in managing the growth, the company says.

IBM Corp.'s (NYSE: IBM) Almaden Research Center is building something similar with its Collective Intelligent Bricks project, envisioning a time when customers will stack simple modular systems piece-by-piece as demand grows, instead of buying monolithic systems.

"Managing a shared storage environment is overwhelmingly complex today -- it’s dragging down the whole industry," says Peter Hayden, president and CEO of EqualLogic. "We’ve built a system that is self-managing... that automates the provisioning of new disk drives and RAID levels to alleviate this problem."

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