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US Military Drives Storage Innovation

The U.S. government's decision to throw money at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, although potentially bad news for many technology vendors, is boosting the development of cutting-edge storage systems.

This is the message from analyst firm Input, which released a report on the Department of Defense's shifting spending priorities today.

The Defense Authorization Bill, which was recently passed by Congress, allows the DOD to spend up to $679 billion in fiscal year 2008, including $189 billion in supplemental funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"A lot of the items that are funded are more net-centric, embedded systems-type technologies," says Lauren Jones, principal analyst at Input, explaining that the military is looking to embed GIS systems within body armor and develop "smart" battlefield sensors. "That type of technology is siphoning off funding from more traditional technology implementations."

Whereas the DOD's overall spending is expected to increase by 8.4 percent next year, spending on traditional IT gear, such as PCs and business application software, will increase by just 5.5 percent over the same period, according to Input.

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