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Some surprising statistics were revealed at Storage Decisions in Chicago - HPQ customers don't appear too concerned about the merger - a staggering 84% polled said they had no issues with continuing to buy (and planning to buy) more storage products from the company. So, if there are any integration issues, consumers don't see it and don't care.
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Now that Sun has acquired intelligent network pioneer Pirus, interest should be high with competitors. We know that Rhapsody has been moving down a path with EMC, and hear similar things about Maranti and Confluence. Watch out for Troika as well.

Sandial is ready to take on the Fibre Channel director incumbents with a super low cost, high-end director of their own. Any traction should force per-port prices way down.

Word is Microsoft has booted StorageNetworks out already and is going back to performing its own backup services.

McData will be making a nice play into the midrange switch space in a month or so - very interesting stuff.

Virtually unknown solid state disk manufacturer TiGi Corp. will set an outrageous new bar for SSD pricing. They are coming out with super high-end stuff at 25% of the cost of the competition. At these pricing levels, SSD becomes more than practical.

First Data Corp's Jerome Wendt stood onstage in Chicago and told the audience that FDC won't entertain buying storage products from vendors who are not CIM standard compliant.

Still waiting on someone to buy Legato. We also keep hearing the EMC buying Precise Software rumor. That one makes sense to us, as EMC would like to jumpstart software sales and that appears to be a good company to do that with.

Xiotech is still in play, as we reported last month. Word now is that Seagate wants to keep an interest, but is looking for a majority shareholder.

CreekPath and AppIQ put on impressive presentations at Storage Decisions, but LeftHand Networks' Dave Dupont stole the show by being different. Dupont played a violent scene from the film The Matrix that had considerable death and dismemberment, with no obvious parallel to storage or the company (we hope). Made people remember them however.

EMC leader Joe Tucci was a humble and gracious CEO. There was little of that old EMC arrogance this time around. He even commended HP competitor Howard Elias on a job well done. Meanwhile, we continue to hear rumblings about EMC field service. Looks like cutbacks, combined with the high degree of specialization among service techs, have led to selective failures to solve serious problems, with some customers sending gear back after months of frustration.

Behind the Firewall is written by a team of industry insiders who, for obvious reasons, prefer to remain anonymous. If you have tips, send them to btf@storagemagazine.com.

This was first published in October 2002

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