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Stodgy's Demise

Whoever said networked storage is the domain of the old-fashioned was just plain wrong. In this corner of IT, the unexpected scenario is getting to be the likeliest one, and anyone who thinks stodginess is the storage way will be left behind fast.

Consider what happened when Frank Governale, VP of operations for CBS News, went looking to replace videotape storage for his organization. (See CBS News Ices Tape.) Two years ago, when he wanted a disk-based storage system with RAID 3, mirrored RAID, automatic failover, and password security, no one was ready. So instead of waiting on the big storage suppliers, he turned to Avid Technology and other makers of video editing systems packaged with storage.

Governale settled on Avid, which delivered CBS an Ethernet-based system called ISIS, albeit a bit later than originally required. CBS plans to replace more Fibre Channel systems with ISIS.

Lesson learned? Storage needs are growing faster than the ability of CIOs to hold off buying. Suppliers that aren't ready will be left behind.

Maybe that's why EMC is so eager to mine demand for small and medium-sized business storage. (See EMC Heads Downmarket.) Here again, the market's moving fast and the fruit's hanging low. Despite its deeply entrenched identity as an enterprise player, EMC is willing to strip down a bit and mix it up with the small fry to grab its fair share (or a bit more).

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