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Looking Low

4:20 PM -- If you're a small to medium-sized business (SMB), the world of storage networking lies at your feet. Or so suppliers would have you believe. For them, this market's as much a numbers game as any other, and SMBs pump up the volume.

Of course, there's SMBs and then there's SMBs.

For small companies, this week brings news of desktop storage systems from Fujitsu, Iomega, and Rorke Data -- including a mini RAID array. (See Fujitsu Shows Off at Intel Summit, Rorke Launches Desktop RAID, and Iomega Expands Desktop REV.) But as senior editor James Rogers points out, some users at the low end may simply not be interested in changing their tape ways. (See Storage Dives Down.)

Of course, larger SMBs are a prime target. According to IDC's latest "Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker," equipment priced between $50,000 and $150,000 accounted for over $1 billion in revenues worldwide during the fourth quarter of last year. That figure represents nearly 15 percent of the $6.8 billion total disk storage systems market for the quarter -- and encompasses firms with sizeable storage networks. (See Networked Storage Up 24%.)

Suppliers are eager to sell "plus size" SMBs. Take NEC Solutions (America) Inc. (NECSAM), for instance, which has relaunched an SMB equipment campaign begun last August. (See NEC Launches SMB Arrays.) It's added capacity, 4-Gbit/s functionality, and SATA drives to its lineup, which is priced between $16,000 and $85,000 for a 17.6-Tbyte unit and $34,000 to $179,000 for a 32.7-Tbyte model. (See NEC INtros 4-Gbit/s Array.)

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