Users of Data General's Aviion server range were given limited hope for the line today by EMC, the storage giant that took over the company earlier this year.
Since EMC's acquisition of Data General last August in a $1.1 billion deal, analysts have predicted that the Aviion range will prove largely superfluous to EMC's product portfolio. The main reason cited for the purchase was that EMC wanted Data General's mid-range Clariion data storage technology, which offers an alternative to products on offer from IBM, HP and Sun.
As part of the acquisition deal, EMC is unable to dispose of any of Data General's assets for two years. But speaking today at a conference in Cork, Ireland, EMC chief executive Michael Ruettgers admitted that the Aviion range would be scaled "to the size where it is profitable."
He added: "It hasn't made any profit for a long time, though as we refocus the line we will be spending a few R&D dollars on certain segments."
Ruettgers also revealed how he expected 80 per cent of the Clariion line would be sold direct by the end of next year, hinting at a shake-up of the old Data General network of OEMs and resellers that were allowed to badge or market the storage range.
Otherwise, revealed Ruettgers, EMC was on target to double its revenue to $10 billion by 2001, despite intense competition from the likes of IBM and Hitachi Data Systems. The latter scored a major victory over EMC in May when it poached Hewlett-Packard as an OEM, until then the storage giant's biggest reseller.
At the Cork conference, Ruettgers also took the opportunity to underline EMC's importance in the burgeoning .com market. Increasingly, he claimed, website leaders such as Amazon and Yahoo were building their IT infrastructures around the four "building blocks" of Oracle databases, Cisco networks and Sun hardware, all underpinned by EMC storage.
It would be only a matter of time, he suggested, before most venture capitalists would also endorse these standards as a condition of providing Internet startups with seed capital.
Meanwhile the demand for storage from .com outfits was ravenous, he declared, citing the case of how six years ago the average storage capacity of large mainframe sites was around 73 terabytes, whereas today a new startup like mail.com would consume 27 terabytes of space in just 45 days.
Unveiling new software, Controlcenter - designed to automate and manage the storage needs of large corporates - Ruettgers added that software sales alone now accounted for $750 million of EMC's revenue, while more generally sales were growing at 25 per cent a year. Europe alone accounts for $1.5 billion in turnover.
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