Disk Storage Sales Still Down, SAN Way Up
Storage sales are stabilizing, though still in decline, research firm IDC said late last week in its quarterly report on disk storage systems. The opening three months of this year saw total revenue at the factory decline one percent from the same quarter last year. The brightest spot continues to be the SAN (Storage Area Network) market, which garnered a 14 percent boost over the first quarter of 2002. According to Brad Nisbet, analyst with IDCs disk storage research division, for the first time, total network storage revenues accounted for more than half of all storage sales, climbing from 48 percent a year ago to 53 percent in the first quarter of 2003. Meanwhile, sales of direct-connect storage device slipped four points as more companies shifted to the network.
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DataCore Makes Storage Management Music
DataCore Software last week introduced upgraded data virtualization software designed to make managing storage-area networks easier. The improved version of its SANsymphony software includes automated storage provisioning, storage resource management and identification/mapping—capabilities typically found in individual products hosted on separate computers. In addition, SANsymphony now discovers storage devices including Fibre Channel switches, storage arrays and clients on the SAN. After discovery, the software maps the SAN and presents an image to the administrator, which allows him or her to isolate cable and other hardware malfunctions.
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Flash-Memory Bargains to Bloom
Flash memory prices are dropping fast, thanks to heated competition between makers. At the beginning of 2002, 256MB Secure Digital cards sold for roughly $200; forthcoming 512MB and 1GB SD cards (expected by this fall) will carry suggested retail prices of $170 and $330, said Gartner analyst Joe Unsworth. Right now, 128MB and 256MB cards are particularly good bargains, said Mike Kuppinger, digital media product manager for Kingston Technology. Such SD cards cost $55 and $75, while same-size CompactFlash cards go for $10 less. High-capacity products—holding up to 4GB—will soon debut.
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EMC Compensates Some Solution Providers for Deals Lost
EMC is starting to make good with solution providers who sell clients on an EMC solution only to see the deal grabbed by Dell or an EMC sales rep at the last minute. The stealth channel protection moves are a marked departure from the EMC of two years ago when the vendor was widely acknowledged to have the industrys most aggressive direct sales force. "EMC has had a bad rap for taking the deal direct," said one solution provider. "But how many manufacturers compensate resellers for helping on the deal?" Pat Sherman, co-owner and vice president of sales at eServ, a Peoria, Ill.-based EMC partner, said solution providers often provide a lot of free system engineering time to work a deal only to see the purchasing manager give it to someone else. "We do the work, then at the eleventh hour the purchaser pulls the rug out from under our feet. ... Most customers today cant afford to pay or wont pay for proof of concept," Sherman said.
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