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What's in a name?

What's in a name?

As the storage service provider (SSP) model begins proving itself as a viable storage option, for many companies the question shifts from what is an SSP, to who's offering the best services? StorageWay, Inc., has upped its market presence by teaming up with two of the biggest names in the game. Earlier this week the Fremont, Calif.-based company announced a pair of deals, one with Computer Associates International, Inc. (CA), and another with EMC Corp., that StorageWay hopes will expand its customer base.

The first move puts CA's Unicenter TNG software to work managing, monitoring and tuning StorageWay's storage infrastructure. Chris Eidler, vice president engineering, cited Uncicenter's common framework for an integrated solution that can handle the degree of scalability that the SSP needs as the selling point for StorageWay.

The second move is on the hardware side of StorageWay's operations. The company has entered into an agreement with EMC Corp., of Waltham, Mass., under which EMC's storage systems will be integrated with StorageWay's managed storage utility services for Internet-related businesses.

"From day one, we have looked to align ourselves with leaders in the industry to help us achieve our goal to become the leader in delivering managed storage services with the ease of a utility to Internet companies," said Peter Shambora, StorageWay CEO. "Customers want EMC."

Shambora sees this as another step in expanding the company's portfolio of services, allowing StorageWay to position EMC's equipment out into its customer base and offer some added features and benefits that are unique to the EMC storage architecture.

Up to now, StorageWay has been using storage from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). Shambora said that they will continue to use HDS in the future and that the EMC hardware will not change StorageWay's pricing matrix in any way, meaning prices for the company's services will not rise.

But using big name equipment isn't everything. "I can say that partnerships with marquis industry names are important, but ability to execute is the best predictor of whether or not an SSP can establish a leadership position," said John Webster, senior analyst and IT advisor for the Nashua, N.H. firm Illuminata, Inc. Webster said that StorageWay is on course financially. "For sure, StorageWay has been able to execute to their plan for raising capital."

StorageWay launched its managed storage utility service in June with the introduction of two products, OutStore and OutBackUp. The services are currently available through 14 co-location centers nationwide. By the end of the first quarter of 2001, the company expects to have 35 data centers worldwide.

"StorageWay has gained a lot of traction in the last 60 to 90 days," said Shambora. "We're targeting for our C-round of funding to close before the end of the year. I think if we keep on the fiscal roadmap and executing on time like we have been, we could be in a position for an IPO in the April June time frame."

According to the Yankee Group's William Hurley, StorageWay is taking the right steps toward remaining on top of the heap. "The SSP market is beginning to show signs of maturity. The announcements by StorageWay are an indication of this trend. By adding these 2 vendors, EMC and Computer Associates, as infrastructure partners, StorageWay is taking the necessary steps to remain in the top tier of Storage Service providers."

"It seems like the customer base is beginning to accept this model. We're at a point right now where fortune 1000 companies are talking to us. Now we can show them that we have real, live customers," concluded Shambora.

For more information:

StorageWay, StorageNetworks, EMC rub elbows in Exodus data centers

StorageNetworks IPO signals boom for storage outsourcing

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor

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