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Startups Abuzz Over Intelligence

In the wake of last month's demonstration of a storage router by EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), a handful of ambitious startups is campaigning for virtualization (see EMC Takes Storage Router for a Spin).

"Now that EMC is finally talking about its intelligent switch, theres a great buzz. We’re waiting for the other shoe to drop,” crows Joel Warford, VP of marketing at Aarohi Communications. Instead of criticizing EMC for pushing a product more than six months before it is ready to ship, Aarohi and likeminded startups such as Incipient Inc. welcome EMC bringing the topic to light (see Report: Switch Is Best for Virtualization).

Indeed, the fact that EMC is talking virtualization and device intelligence is a bit of a light at the end of a tunnel. “You have EMC starting to talk about their vision, and you’ll start to see a lot of evangelical work by them,” says Robert Infantino, spokesman for Incipient. “That’s only going to help us.”

The new companies are convinced that despite well publicized differences among big players about how intelligence should be implemented in SANs, there's a good chance no single vendor will have complete say (see EMC on Virtualization: Wait for Us).

Instead, the startups maintain, we'll see intelligent features spread around -- some in switches from the likes of Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA), and others in storage gear from EMC, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), and Engenio Information Technologies Inc.

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