As major hardware makers in the data storage industry continue their move into software, one smaller hardware company, Storage Technology Corp., is taking the lesson to heart.
StorageTek, in Louisville, Colo., last week unveiled a data recovery service and new business continuity plans. The announcement makes available services that the company already offers in custom implementations, said Michael Stout, StorageTek global vice president of services for business continuity.
The new service, called Storage Lifeline Architecture, is for "80 percent of the applications that exist today, [which] dont require the level of disk mirroring that, say, EMC [Corp.s Symmetrix Data Remote Facility] requires," Stout said, referring to mission-critical products from the Hopkinton, Mass., vendor.
The service begins immediately beneath that for the enterprise and can scale as low as "three servers out in the middle of nowhere using dial-up connections," Stout said.
Storage Lifeline Architecture and the continuity assessment and auditing services are available now in various pricing configurations, largely capacity-based, Stout said. "Were using some very Big-5-type of models to do that consulting work," he said.
In April, StorageTek will announce telecommunications and data center partners.
"Itll allow us to compete with the IBM Global Services folks ... not in market share [but] on the scale of services," Stout said. In addition, StorageTek will partner with a company specializing in hot-swappable infrastructure, to be announced "very soon," he said.
At least one user said he would like StorageTek to keep an eye on its vertical markets. Michael Chudik, business consultant in the IS department at OhioHealth, in Columbus, said, "The Lifeline Architecture sounds interesting," but hed like StrorageTek to work more for vertical-market needs.
Such things as upcoming federal health care security laws are "going to rock our industry a bit," and vendor help will be vital, Chudik said.
But Darrell Hargrove, a studio engineering supervisor and StorageTek customer at public broadcasting station KERA, in Dallas, said he doesnt believe the services are useful.
"We probably wouldnt need something like that," Hargrove said. "Were basically using StorageTek as a videotape machine."