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Xyratex Branches Out

PHOENIX -- Storage Networking World -- Xyratex Ltd. (Nasdaq: XRTX) has unveiled its first homegrown controller and plans to move into switching technology by the end of this year.

At the Storage Networking World conference here today, Xyratex announced the Model 4835, billed as a nearline mass storage system for OEMs of midrange disk backup devices and other storage gear.

"The 4835 has the first Xyratex-made controller," says Jerry Hoetger, senior product manager. Up to now, the company has OEM'd controllers from the likes of Chapparal Network Storage, now Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: HILL), and Infortrend Technology Inc.

The move to its own controller is part of Xyratex's effort to diversify its capabilities and meet customer demand for "one throat to choke," Hoetger says. While Xyratex continues to OEM controllers from third parties, the vendor now has enclosures that don't require customers or resellers to address more than one supplier.

The new controller also gives Xyratex a potential way out of relying on a competitor, a situation that came about through Dot Hill's purchase of Chapparal last year (see Dot Hill Acquires Chapparal). And it could help it compete more effectively against Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT) and Engenio Information Technologies Inc. as well, in an increasingly competitive OEM market for midrange gear.

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