Stiff Competition But HP is not alone. The company faces stiff competition from such companies as IBM, which is working on its StorageTank projecta next-generation file system that accomplishes virtualization. In addition, Microsoft Corp. has plans to merge technologies from its SQL Server DBMS with future versions of its Windows operating system.Paul Sikora, director of production services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, agrees with Elias assessment of the storage business. But Sikora, who stores 100 terabytes in multiple data centers, said HPs plans lack innovation. "There were times, even pre-SAN, where you could shift media on a pretty short notice," he said. And virtualization is "not that important," Sikora said. What is neededand what Sikora isnt hearing about from HPis better integration of storage with specific application needs. While Elias did not elaborate on the issue of vendor interoperability, HP last week extended Compaqs existing API-sharing deal with EMC and is scheduled to unveil a similar deal with IBM this week, although IBM might postpone that a few weeks, sources said. Related stories:
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Whether HP will do the same through internal development or acquisitions hasnt been determined. The company already resells high-end arrays from Hitachi Ltd. The goal is to offer IP-based global storage networks in 2004.