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Western Digital promises long hot summer of S&M products

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Western Digital’s SME business will expand on its Sentinel range over the summer, as it looks to step up from the S to the M part of the market

The vendor will also refresh the Arkeia dedupe and backup software platform it bought in December and expand it in the similar direction, after completing the integration of the 17-year-old vendor.

Tom Gallivan, VP and general manager for SMB solutions at WD, said the business expected to make product announcements at the ends of June, July and August.

“We’ll leverage the platforms that Sentinel has and that Arkeia has. We can use that in both server attached storage as well as network attached storage as well as backup to client,” he told The Register; in a quiet moment at the vendors' summit this week in sleepy Istanbul.

“We’re going to fill out the middle,” he continued, noting that the Sentinel was “designed for the S in SMB,” while Arkeia targeted firms with 25 employees or less.

He added: “We’re seeing our units being sold in companies of up to 100-150 people.”

WD makes a great play of not announcing products until they’re ready to ship. However, given that the DX 4000 was Atom-based and ran Windows Storage Server 2008, a bump up to a full fat Intel chip, such as a Xeon and a Windows Server 2012 variant seem a fair bet, as would support for more than 25 clients.

The DX box version was followed by a rack sized version, so we’d guess any upgrade would spawn a rackable version in time.

Meanwhile, Gallivan said the firm had now "90 per cent" integrated the Arkeia dedupe and backup operation it bought back in December and was rolling out the product through its channels. The firm had originally been mainly indirect in Europe and direct in the US. It is now 100 per cent through the channel in the US and Europe

Gallivan said the businesses were now 90 per cent integrated, with one salesforce and one marketing team. There were a few outstanding issues he said, such as integrating the web sites.

The channel reach afforded by WD was one of the key attractions for Arkeia, said Bill Evans, general manager for SMB solutions and former Arkeia CEO. “We can grow a lot faster as part of WD than we would have as an independent company.”

Evans said on the eve of the acquisition, the company had 10,000 customers across 100 countries. He said Arkeia expected its growth curve to be “much steeper” as part of WD, while Gallivan reckoned the total addressable market opportunity was over $1bn. ®

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