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IBM Makes Server News

IBM made big storage waves this week, largely with its aggressive play to EMC's installed base that's now looking to upgrade. With an army of consultants and a Linux-based, rack-mounted migration appliance, IBM promises it can move data to its own storage servers with no downtime. One converted user is already talking about how quickly the move paid for itself. Maybe more customers will follow if they can do the same math.

In a more vertical vein, IBM this week also teamed with Eastman Kodak Co. to provide storage equipment and management services for medical imaging applications. Given the resource-intensive nature of most stored images, IBM's found a good partner for growth in healthcare, publishing and digital photography.

But IBM made one other announcement this week, not necessarily directly germane to storage. The vendor said it plans to abandon production of generic business software and instead concentrate on products and sales for customers in specific industries.

The Kodak deal is the first move in that direction. No doubt similar deals are in the works in sectors like financial services, transportation, telecom and media. And with IBM's soup-to-nuts product line, you can bet storage will be a big piece of that vertical strategy. In all, it looks like a smart way to close out the quarter and be ready for new prospects in the new year.