Deal Brings Compaq Storage Service Closer to Reality

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-01-10

Compaq Computer Corp. is purchasing service provider technology from startup Storability Inc., progressing in its long-term goal of building a global on-demand IP storage network, Storability will announce on Monday.

The deal, made by Compaqs Global Services division, gives the Houston-based company a copy of Storabilitys turnkey Assured Storage Management System. Consequently, Compaq will begin publicizing details of a storage service "in the near future," said Ray Wilkes, director of Compaq Managed Services, in Littleton, Mass.

He declined to elaborate, but that announcement could come as soon as the end of this month, Storability officials said.

In addition to helping Compaqs professional services and enterprise storage departments with their plans announced in August 2001—to build IP networks extending Fibre Channel connections across metropolitan areas this year, hybrid versions of that in 2003 and full-IP global storage networks in 2004—the deal could also help out with multivendor support because Storabilitys product is largely technology-neutral, Wilkes said.

"This gives us what we need for now and what we feel was missing," he said.

For Storability, the non-exclusive deal is worth $3 million to $5 million over two years, said Kirby Wadsworth, vice president of marketing at the Southboro, Mass., company. Storability engineers are making cosmetic changes to the application on Compaqs behalf, are porting it to Compaq servers, and will provide third-level technical support. Larger firms, like BMC Software Inc., Veritas Software Corp. and StorageNetworks Inc., also bid for Compaqs business, he said.

"Compaqs recognized the need to partner with startups to get the job done," said Jamie Gruener, an analyst with The Yankee Group, in Boston.

In the second half of last year, Compaq announced deals with storage startups Atempo Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., and LiveVault Corp., of Marlboro, Mass. But "Compaq still needs to think about how theyre going to do the end-to-end part of it," Gruener said.

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