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StorageTek Plans Virtualization Device

Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) could jump into the virtualization appliance game next year, around the time EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) rolls out its storage router.

StorageTek director of strategy, Todd Rief, says his company is talking to intelligent software vendors and switch companies as possible partners in an answer to EMC's router. Likely partners include Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) and switch vendors Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA).

StorageTek is clearly trying to break out of its traditional role as tape vendor, and get more involved with other tiers of storage. There’s a trend towards disk virtualization, and we’re going to be agitators there,” Rief says of a likely foray into intelligent switches.

EMC Storage Router consists of EMC's virtualization software running on hardware from Brocade, Cisco, and McData. The router moves data from one array to another without disruption, even if the arrays are from different vendors. EMC demonstrated its router at Storage Networking World last month and expects to ship in mid 2005 (see EMC Takes Storage Router for a Spin).

StorageTek has been quiet with its plans, and Rief still isn’t saying for sure that it will have a virtualization appliance. But an industry source says StorageTek started down this road at least six months ago, and is actually working on OEM or reseller deals for two devices.

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