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Storage & Slash Converge in Las Vegas

What do Bill Gates, Maxstor, Quantum, Seagate, Toshiba, and Slash have in common? They're all at this week's 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where storage is definitely on the agenda.

As ever, the annual event is a reminder of the link between consumer and enterprise storage products. This year, that link is stronger than ever, and not only because consumers need help storing vacation photos.

"There's a huge amount of storage hardware aimed at the consumer space," says analyst Mike Karp of Enterprise Management Associates. "SMBs are the obvious targets. But there's a whole lot of opportunity in backing up and managing desktops in enterprises, too."

Growing quantities of data and an increasingly mobile work force are making life tough for those charged with the protection of corporate data. Just ask the unfortunate IT folk whose lack of control over internal USB usage drew unwanted international attention to Sweden's military this week.

Big storage vendors also are more attentive to SMB needs these days because that market segment is likely to be less affected by universal cuts in IT spending. One of IDC's predictions for 2008 is that "Vendors will create more attractive 'all in one' solutions using an integrated server and storage approach to address the lucrative SMB market."

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