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StorageQuest On a Rocky Road

As its name implies, StorageQuest Inc. can aptly be summed up as a storage voyage-into-the-unknown.

Based in Ottawa, StorageQuest was officially founded in 1998 to develop storage virtualization appliances and software, but discovered it was several years too early with this idea.

The company did an about-face and began reselling almost everyone elses tapes and disk drives, including those of Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA), Pioneer, Pegasus, Sony Corp., Tricord Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: TRCD), and others.

With only 12 employees onboard, StorageQuest was able to sustain its business selling other companies' products long enough for the rest of the world to catch on to virtualization -- so company spokespeople say.

Now, as the virtualization market hits the spotlight, StorageQuest is jumping on the bandwagon with other established companies and startups seeking a stake. The list is getting longer every day, but key ones include Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ), DataCore Software Corp., EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), FalconStor Software Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP), KOM Networks Inc., Lefthand Networks, Panasas Inc.,StoreAge Networking Technologies Ltd., and Zambeel Inc., among many others.

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