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'My very first SAN'. Brought to you by Fujitsu Siemens

Storage is for little people, too

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Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) thinks storage area networking is for the little guys too. It has drummed up a technology bundle and a marketing slogan - "My very first SAN" - to capture that lucrative, but oh so elusive, small and medium-sized business (SMB) market.

Marcus Schneider, FSC's director of infrastructure products (EMEA), told The Register that the firm was now focusing particularly heavily on the S (small) part of SMBs, targeting organisations with a head-count of between 100 and 200 staff, in particular.

Explaining the rationale behind the strategy, he said the firm offered "affordable" entry-level storage "solutions" via its FibreCat tape drives to small businesses that are increasingly reliant on digital content as their core business data.

Hence the playschool-like sounding, "my very first SAN", in the hope of simplifying its storage area network range.

Schneider told El Reg that FSC competes directly with HP for a larger chunk of the storage market. The heavily channel-focused computer vendor is currently in the number four spot in the EMEA storage marketplace with sales last year exceeding €500m.

According to Schneider, FSC has an advantage over competitors because it is the only firm currently offering its own capacitor technology (FibreCap) for SMBs.

FibreCap stores the cache on a portable compact flash card and replaces batteries that are used in critical systems requiring a failsafe power facility to protect the RAID controller.

Batteries are reliable only for three days or so, said Sean Haffey, FSC storage product manager. He thinks Fibre Cap offers customers a more "fault-tolerant solution" as well as better power management. This in turn could prove to be more environmentally sound investment.

To underline his point, Haffey used the recent floods in Hull, in Northern England, as an example of disaster recovery that was likely to take much longer than the expected 72-hour life span of a system's battery.

The bundled package offered by FSC to SMBs include backup software with tape automation products and a carrying case to transport backup tapes elsewhere. ®

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