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StorageTek Flexes Disk

Tape vendor Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) is looking to put more backbone behind its disk-backup products (see StorageTek Expands Disk Backup).

The Louisville, Colo.-based company announced plans to strengthen its disk line, both on the technology and marketing fronts. Product enhancements include adding virtual tape for open systems, six years after developing virtual tape for mainframes, as well as a new series of disk-backup products. StorageTek is also rebranding its disk product line to remove confusion about its offerings.

Gone are the B series (a.k.a. BladeStore) and the D series. They will all be sold under the new FlexLine brand. JR Roedel, senior director of StorageTeks Information Lifecycle Management Solutions (ILMS) group, says customers were confused by the different series of disk products.

“We realized we needed a common brand,” Roedel says. “We found with the D or B series or BladeStore, it was not giving customers simple answers as to what goes where.”

The disk muscles StorageTek hopes to Flex have been growing, possibly at the expense of its traditional tape business (see Storagetek Announces Q2). Disk makes up only 8.9 percent of company revenue, but is rising while tape declines. In the quarter that ended in June, StorageTek’s disk revenue grew to $46.2 million, up 4.5 percent from the previous quarter and 9.8 percent from the previous year. Its virtual tape revenue grew 25 percent from the previous year to $40 million. Meanwhile, tape revenue declined 8.8 percent from the previous year and 3.6 percent from the previous quarter, its second straight quarter of sequential decline. StorageTek has also been beefing up its disk sales force to keep momentum going.

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