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StorageTek: Page 2 of 4

"As the growth of data increased across different types of servers, a number of customers wanted to do some kind of multiplexed storage, to consolidate backup," Stamas says. "SAN was a natural fit to provide access to large tape libraries."

The company is also active in the standards process, having joined the efforts of other vendors in the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) (see The Grand SAN Plan). Yet on the bottom line, StorageTek is still firmly tied to its tape and disk system sales, which accounted for nearly 90 percent of its revenues for the fiscal quarter ended March 30.

Though StorageTek has separate units for its tape, disk, and networking products, Stamas says the company is trying to move toward a more holistic image.

"We don't walk up and say, 'We're the tape guy' or 'We're the disk guy'," Stamas says. "We're just StorageTek, and networking is part of the solution we offer. Networking isn't going to replace our tape or disk businesses, but it will help us generate more overall sales."

While StorageTek generated $468 million in revenue for its first quarter of 2001, the period ended with a $3 million loss (a loss of 3 cents per share). Though that's better than the nearly $40 million loss of the like quarter a year ago, it's still not the kind of performance that gets analysts excited.