Niche storage vendors Hitachi, Sony and Clariion are aiming to broaden their market presence to target EMC's supremacy.
EMC's success in the storage market has already provoked mainstream vendors like Sun, Compaq Storage Works and StorageTek to don battle-dress. Now niche vendors are gearing up to follow.
Hitachi Data Systems hopes to expand its traditional mainframe-based disk storage business to open systems and NT.
"It will be between the second and third quarter next year, but we are trying to bring that forward," said Gary Veale, UK director for Hitachi Data Systems.
More customers are storing increased amounts of data on Unix and NT and now have the same requirement for fault tolerance and disaster recovery usually reserved for mainframe users, he explained.
He estimated that storage now accounts for one third of all corporate hardware expenditure. As a result, he predicted: "One hell of a scrap will take place in this market-place."
Sony's storage arm is also looking to expand from its niche, which is supplying digital tape storage to the broadcast market, into the finance, scientific, retail, oil and gas, and defence vertical sectors.
These sectors are beginning to see the need for the same volumes of storage as post-production houses. Sony claims to be able to scale from five terabytes to two petabytes (2,000 terabytes) without having to replace the robot which operates the storage library.
The Data General subsidiary Clariion is attacking the market from the bottom. Clariion has numerous OEM agreements with vendors like Hewlett-Packard, Silicon Graphics, Sequent, Bull, ICL, NEC and Samsung, but now also intends to set out on its own to target markets it had formerly been excluded from like the Sun and IBM platforms.
"Selling through OEMs is like selling with gloves on," said James Dawson, Clariion vice president for Europe.
- More Enterprise news, page 25.
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