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Hitachi Looks to Refresh NAS

Hitachi Data Systems is expected to refocus its NAS platform around an OEM deal -- most likely with BlueArc, industry sources say.

Hitachi wouldn't comment on plans for a NAS deal, but there has been talk for weeks that it's shopping for an OEM partner. Sources say a deal with BlueArc will be struck soon, and the new NAS will be available as part of an aggressive 2007 product refresh.

"We believe HDS is close to signing an OEM agreement with a private vendor in the high performance NAS market," Wall Street analyst Tom Curlin of RBC Capital Markets wrote in a note to clients this week. "Under this scenario HDS probably would eliminate existing NAS products, which seems logical given this vendor's enterprise focus."

When asked if his company was going to sign a NAS OEM deal, HDS CTO Hu Yoshida said, "We don't comment on rumors and speculation. We can't comment either way."

Hitachi resold Network Appliance NAS until coming out with its own NAS blades that plug into its TagmaStore high-end SAN systems in April 2005. (See NAS Up Next for Hitachi.) Earlier this year, HDS added NAS filers for its midrange Workgroup Modular Storage (WSM) and Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) systems.

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