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No Coughing

I'm not really a big opera fan. Maybe it's my lack of subtlety. But even I know that the first character to cough during some intermezzo is going to be toast by the third act. It's what creative types like to call "foreshadowing."

So as we close out the summer, there was a bit of throat-clearing from some of the largest players in storage. Not that they're long for this world -- far from it. But you could get a clear sense of players moving into position, taking offensive and defensive positions, foreshadowing what's likely to be a busy fourth quarter.

Microsoft released some new Windows code that includes File Server Resource Manager for storage reporting and a Storage Manager for SANs. Microsoft said it plans to release Windows Storage Server 2003 and Windows Small Business Server upgrades based on the new code as well.

StorageTek shareholders this week also voted to approve the acquisition by Sun Microsystems, a bit of news that was followed by the possibility that Sun would move all its storage offerings under the StorageTek brand. Analysts said that made good sense, since Sun's market share in disks and servers is under attack. I'm not convinced this kind of branding shell game is what's going to turn it around for Sun, but it will be interesting to see how customers respond.

And IBM introduced a poor-man's continuous data protection product, bragging how it had beat rivals EMC and Symantec to market in the very active CDP sector. IBM's product is aimed more at the desktop, and with its rivals planning more enterprise-scale CDP launches before the end of the year, it's unclear how much real advantage this gives IBM.

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