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If you are running out of space to stow your garden mower or possibly you want to shove all your press clippings in a skip, storage suddenly becomes all important. Land fill sites are another storage dilemma, as monitors, fridges, PCs and the like are obsoleted, need to be put somewhere without spending billions on rockets. Plutonium also has its storage problems. But perhaps the bigget problem corporations have is data storage. This seems to be behind why Hewlett Packard has quite suddenly decided storage is important. Today, HP will book a whole section of 42nd Street in the Big Apple to show the whole world and its dog why it has a better answer to the solution than, for example, EMC and Compaq. EMC's share price slumped a whole $12 on news that HP was planning a storage push. The push is called "Stress Free Computing" and of course is aimed at corporations, worried about their data. The battle seems to be between the direct and the indirect nodel, one which we thought at La Registra was well dead. Data is one kind of storage but everyone knows that unless you've got enough cupboards, white vans, et al, to put your stuff, you are just gonna have to move, like it or not. Perhaps HP is being a tad opportunistic and fast on its feet, hoping to fox corporate buyers into believing it has the answer, while all the time pushing margins up. Compaq, for example, has the answer but no longer the CEO Pfeiffer to show a return on investment. But why should the corporate organisation suffer in this new storage war? The answer is, they pay the bill and it is noticeable, as one analyst pointed out to us today, that none of these big vendors ever try to explain the basic infrastructure and roll out servers, storage area networks and a corporation's policy in one big thing that will mean something to chief information officrs (CIOs). As Yorkshire people are apt to say in their quaint dialect: "Many a mickle makes a muckle" which, interpreted, seems to mean, storage solutions will keep shareholders happy. More later... ®

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