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Storage Dives Down

More and more vendors are scaling down their storage and backup offerings in an effort to win a slice of the lucrative SMB market. Fujitsu, Iomega, and Rorke Data all unveiled new desktop technologies today, in an attempt to tap into this trend. (See Iomega Expands Desktop REV, Fujitsu Shows Off at Intel Summit, and Rorke Launches Desktop RAID.)

By many accounts, growth in storage spending by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is expected to outstrip the growth of the overall storage market. In line with the trend, a number of big-name vendors, including EMC, HP, IBM, and Sun, are touting RAID arrays in this space, and other, smaller firms are looking to expand their product lines.

Iomega, for example, which already offers SMB RAID arrays, is now targeting desktop backup with the launch of its REV Loader 280. According to the vendor, the disk-based autoloader is the size of a small shoebox and, with eight disks, offers a capacity of 280 Gbytes compressed and 560 Gbytes uncompressed.

The idea behind desktop backup is that small firms, which may not possess extensive inhouse IT resources, can quickly secure their data directly from their workstations with a minimum of hassle.

A number of vendors, including HP and Exabyte, currently offer tape-based desktop backup, although disk-based offerings are few and far between. (See Disk Cartridges Aim to Challenge Tape and ProStor Intros Backup Tech.) "Iomega is pretty much the only company out there that has a removable hard drive," says Wolfgang Schlichting, research director at analyst firm IDC. "Users can get a high-performance disk-based model without the slowness that is often associated with tape."

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