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Grocery chain checks out Dell storage

Winn-Dixie plans to announce Tuesday that it's using Dell's systems to perform daily backups of key data, including customer information from the stores' pharmacy department.

Dell Computer is helping grocer Winn-Dixie keep its shelves stocked. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based supermarket chain plans to announce Tuesday that it is using Dell's systems in nearly all of its 1,070 stores to perform daily backups of key data, including pricing and inventory information as well as customer information from the stores' pharmacy department. Dell said it is providing 1,060 PowerVault NAS systems and 1,060 servers to Winn-Dixie.

"These Dell systems provide Winn-Dixie's pharmacy customers the security of knowing their prescriptions, medical information and other critical data are backed up and retrievable," Dell Senior Vice President Joe Marengi said in a statement.

Additionally, Dell's services unit helped set up the store networks, and the chain is using OpenManage, the computer maker's systems-management software.

The companies did not put a dollar value on the deal, but it is less than $10 million. The deal follows other recent storage sales for Dell, including wins with Cox Communications, Mercedes-Benz, the U.S. Military Academy and brokerage firm UBS Warburg.

Growing its storage business is an important part of Dell's effort to establish itself as a key player beyond the PC market. The company has said it hopes to double in size over the next few years.

On Monday, Dell said it would enter the market for retail point-of-sale equipment with a new line of electronic cash registers.