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Rockwell Collins

There's surely a secret fellowship of SAN managers who feel so frustrated with the complexity and the cost of storage networks that they've wanted to rip out all of the equipment and start over. Rockwell Collins Inc., a $2.5 billion aviation electronics company, has done just that. And the best part is that the company hasn't had to buy a single piece of new equipment to replace the old gear.

The company has almost completed the process of consolidating more than 40 separate storage systems onto only five new EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) systems, which, it says, it hasn't actually purchased. Instead, Rockwell Collins is leasing 22 Tbytes of capacity on Symmetrix DMX800 and Clariion CX600 boxes (see Rockwell Collins Picks EMC). In all, the company has 47 Tbytes on EMC gear.

"The biggest thing about this deal is that we didn't buy anything," says Ed Malamut, the manager of business applications systems at Rockwell Collins.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company didn't even have to look around for a buyer for its existing systems. EMC purchased the whole lot -- including both EMC gear and non-EMC gear -- for an undisclosed amount. "They wrote us a check," Malamut says. (He also wouldn't reveal the financial terms of the company's lease arrangement with EMC.)

An EMC spokeswoman says that the company has been offering this refinancing option to its customers for several years, and that it remarkets both the EMC and non-EMC systems once it has bought them.

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