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Wisconsin Public Service

Mike Waldrop feels like his first SAN became obsolete almost before he even powered it up.

As network services project manager at Wisconsin Public Service Corp., a power and gas company based in Green Bay, Waldrop is responsible for overseeing the utility's storage infrastructure. About a year and a half ago, it was installing its first SAN-attached storage, and it had chosen Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) PowerVault 660F/224F Fibre Channel storage arrays.

The 4-TByte SAN, which is connected via two Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) 16-port SilkWorm 2800 switches, is a prelude to a larger storage consolidation project that WPS has planned for 2003. Eight servers are attached to the SAN, including two Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) SQL Server clustered server pairs.

But just as WPS was getting ready to turn it all on, Dell announced its OEM partnership with EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) -- and soon after, Dell announces it would phase out the 660F, just eight months after its introduction (see EMC and Dell Double-Down and Dell and EMC Do a Deal).

"I thought we had asked all the right questions," Waldrop says. "We were training on the 660 systems when the Dell-EMC agreement was announced."

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