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Storage That Phones Home

A company whose products are used by EMC and Quantum to enable remote service and support of their gear is eyeing enterprise customers. And it's not alone.

Axeda offers software for remote monitoring of storage gear (and other electronic equipment) for support staff back at EMC and Quantum facilities. Using software agents embedded in Windows, Linux, or Unix, Axeda tracks the performance of tape drives, disk drives, and other gear over SSL links, triggering notification to the vendors if something goes wrong on a customer site. It also coordinates updates and patches on remote equipment.

"We're happy with Axeda," says EMC spokesman Rick Lacroix. EMC is using Axeda's DRM product for its EMC Secure Remote Support Gateway. Lacroix can't elaborate on pricing or the future use of Axeda's wares.

Quantum uses Axeda's software to power its StorageCare Guardian software solution, which lets Quantum track the setup and status of remote customer tape libraries and disk arrays, reporting back to Quantum HQ and storing details for future reports.

The two high-profile storage suppliers are just a fraction of business for Axeda, however. The vendor, whose typical deal starts at about $300,000 and up, has specialized for years in remote support automation tools for a range of businesses, most notably medical equipment suppliers. But VP of marketing Brian Anderson says Axeda sees its IT options growing, particularly since the vendor's return-on-investment pitch includes a reduction in sending live field engineers to diagnose problems and perform routine maintenance.

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