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Mark Lewis: Page 2 of 15

Within the field of enterprise computing players, Compaq has a unique position. Through the acquisition of Tandem Computers in 1997 and Digital Equipment Corp. in 1998, Compaq has the most diverse high-end server product line of any of the major systems vendors, supporting its Intel-based ProLiant servers, its Alpha-based AlphaServers, and its MIPS-based NonStop Himalaya line of parallel-processing systems. (Compaq's NonStop Himalaya line is scheduled to switch to Alpha processors in 2003.) Supporting that diverse server product line poses an unusual challenge for the company's Enterprise Storage Group, but also provides it with an edge.

Thus, the direction Compaq takes with its storage networking products has a major influence on the market. That direction is under the watchful eye of Mark Lewis, vice president and general manager of Compaq's Enterprise Storage Group. Lewis joined Digital Equipment Corp. back in 1984, and served as that company's director of engineering for enterprise storage; he was instrumental in the development of the StorageWorks product line.

Based on that time in the trenches, Lewis sees virtualization as a key element of storage networking's future, and has a wide-angle view of issues like interoperability and the battle between Fibre Channel and the emerging storage transport protocols such as iSCSI.

Here's how Lewis sees the world of storage networking: