Programmed Logic Corp, the breakaway Bell Labs company formed in 1990 to work on high-performance Unix file system software, is moving into a new area: networked storage management operating system software. With its eye on the growing direct network attach storage market, the company has bundled its existing software together with new storage management utilities, and re- cast it to work in conjunction with embedded operating systems including, but not restricted to, Wind River Systems Inc’s VXWorks. It is aiming the bundle at storage peripherals vendors, and says it has a number already signed up, deals it will be revealing as its OEM customers come to market with their products. The move could be a challenge to Auspex Systems and Network Appliance Corp, who have used a similar approach, but whose system software remains tied into their own hardware. Programmed Logic believes there are between 50 and 100 RAID storage vendors alone who could benefit from its software, not counting the optical storage companies. Many of these firms are feeling the pinch of tighter margins on hardware and are looking to add value to their products. Programmed Logic is offering OEM customers a pluggable stack of components to embed within network attach storage devices, which in many cases could bypass the need for an expensive, fully configured storage server running Unix or Windows NT. Storage vendors can pick the functionality they require, and write their own additional components if they wish. The software utilizes the company’s existing HTFS High Throughput File System DTFS compresssion technology, and StacFS stackable modular file system as a base for hierarchical storage management, mirroring and online backup applications. The software is most suitable for network attach systems communicating via simple protocols such as SMB Server Message Block or the NFS Network File System, or at a higher level such as SQL. It will also run on Unix for those who require a full- blown server, and Programmed Logic says it will be making Windows NT announcements in the near future. The privately-held company, owned by its employees, currently makes its money through royalties from its file system and compression technology. Its highest profile customer is the Santa Cruz Operation Inc, which bundles a copy of the HTFS file system with every copy of OpenServer it sells. It promises more details when the first of its storage OEM customers is ready to announce.