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This also gives NetApp the ability to go beyond RAID-DP protection, providing survivability inside an array against a double drive failure, by providing data protection between arrays so that, potentially, a NetApp cluster can withstand the failure of a complete node with no data loss.

Sun is due to announce sundry flash-enhanced servers, but we don't have a road map for those down to particular months this year. The aim is to closely couple Sun system software with Sun read and write flash enhanced servers so that they process workloads much faster than commodity servers or proprietary ons from HP and IBM.

This is a core part of Sun's open source software story with the heart of it being dramatically lower-priced server/software and storage (controller) software combinations that eat workloads and store data like a house on fire while costing much less than competing boxes.

Then there are the Seagate SSDs which we think may be announced in the second quarter. These are toe-in-the-water products while the market develops and Seagate persuades OEMs and consumers that its SSDs are better than anyone else's. It's a tough call. Although Seagate was an investor in SanDisk we can't really say it has a substantial SSD heritage.

It will be hoping, no doubt, that its adoption of SSD technology will be more successful than analogue camera maker Kodak's adoption of digital film technology. So far digital camera Kodak threatens to be a far smaller version of film camera Kodak than its management care to contemplate. Seagate will not want to go down that route.

All these announcements, except the Seagate SSD one, will provide, or should provide, substantially more storage bangs per buck and help counter demand drops due to the recession. Think storage refreshment as a way to beat the recession blues. ®

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