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There are a handful of other storage system vendors, including BlueArc, Copan Systems, DataDirect Technologies, Diligent Technologies, LeftHand Networks, Pillar Data Systems, OnStor and Sepaton, that will probably be acquired or go public in 2008. As these vendors and others try to elevate themselves to the next level, we'll begin to see overlap and turf wars for category dominance.
Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems--the seven billionaires of storage--are all impacted by the changing storage landscape. While a few of the big seven may scoop up some of the smaller, emerging vendors, massive consolidation in the storage system market won't happen any time soon. In fact, it may never happen. That's because storage is complicated and diverse, and sophisticated customers, using better research and networking tools than ever before, understand they don't need one-stop shopping for storage technology. Those vendors who understand this new world order will benefit.
How do you as a customer make the right decision? My answer is to remember that you're in the driver's seat, and this is a great time to be in the market for a storage system product. So negotiate intelligently and apply your leverage as a coveted storage customer. One of your biggest problems may be having too many viable choices. In the grand scheme of things, that's a pretty good problem
| to have.
This was first published in January 2008