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Vol. 4 No. 12 February 2006

Startups and standards

Forget about storage if you want a tech field that's easy to navigate, has a relatively set roster of players and moves along at a leisurely pace. Even gnarled veterans of the storage game know how hard it is to stay on top of all that's going on. Getting--and keeping--a firm grasp on the technologies is tough enough, but knowing what to buy and when to buy it is even trickier. So how do you deal with an ever-changing industry that seems to get its steam from little startups trying not to get trampled by the handful of giants dominating storage? You could play it safe and stick with one of the Goliaths, but with so much of the really innovative technology coming from the little guys these days, you just might miss out on the products that best address your storage needs. It's a safe choice, perhaps, but one that could get you even deeper into a single vendor's pocket and maybe cost you more in the long run. Or you could kill some time and kick the tires of that new WAFS appliance or e-mail archiver you've been eyeing, and wait ...

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