Compaq plans big storage push

The computer maker plans to invest aggressively in its data storage system division and release a slew of new products.

Tech Industry
Compaq plans to invest aggressively in its data storage system division and release a slew of new products as part of its overall effort to expand its offerings in the enterprise computer market.

Storage systems are becoming a more integral part in a vendor's overall server strategy, mostly because the need for more data storage has exploded with the Internet and electronic commerce. While once a component inside a server, storage systems, such as massive stand-alone arrays of hard disk drives, increasingly are becoming stand-alone devices. In turn, this opens up revenue opportunities.

"Increasingly, you are going to see that storage is a strategic part of server sales," said Crawford DelPrete, storage analyst at International Data Corporation. "The server vendors with storage technology are going to capitalize on it."

Under the effort, Compaq will focus on developing wares targeted at three product segments. A server storage group will concentrate on internal server storage while a multivendor storage group will focus on stand-alone storage units, said Bob Schultz, director of server storage systems for Compaq.

Business critical storage systems, a new product area for Compaq, will target data centers. The company also will enhance professional services that relate to improving storage technology.

"Storage will be a $35.6 billion industry by 2000. We intend to keep our share and grow it," Schultz said. Currently, Compaq has 22 percent of certain segments of the stand-alone storage market, he added.

Compaq itself does not make the disks or tape drives, he added, but the systems that connect them to the overall network.

Compaq also said that it has merged products from the storage division it acquired from Digital into its own road map.

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