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March 1, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Storage Technology Corp is readying two new storage devices aimed at the mobile computing and email backup and indexing markets. The mobile computing system, called PowerBak, is intended to plug into a laptop or desktop-based system. The system offers a backup of up to 10 generations of the client desktop whereby the user can either take a ‘snapshot’ of the entire desktop or target specific applications. The product consists of management software and integrated disk and tape drives. The disk is used as a staging area so that if there are a lot of users online, data can be transferred to tape later. Darrel Royal, VP of integrated solutions, sees applications for the system in disaster recovery situations, especially Y2K problems. Royal says that, for instance, the system could take snapshots of company desktops immediately prior to the bug hitting, meaning that at least the data could be recovered later if a company’s system went down. Royal says that the system offers 2 Gigabytes of storage per user, priced at $295 per user, starting at 500 users per system. The company is also planning to offer a hosting service using the system with an as yet unnamed ISPs. The email system, called Message Vault, is intended to offer sophisticated backup, search and indexing facilities to Microsoft Corp’s Exchange and Lotus Development Corp’s Notes groupware products. The system will be offered in client and server versions, both of which will consist of NT or Sun Solaris software, retrieval software and tape and disk drives. On the client version, archiving will be initiated at the user end rather than occurring at a pre-set time. The Exchange version of Message Vault will be available in March, with the Notes version following three months later. The system will be priced between $100,000 to $500,000. Both products are rack mountable devices that connect to a network via an Ethernet connection. Both products are somewhat removed from Storagetek’s normal enterprise storage market and broadly fall into the category of network appliances. Royal claims that although the network appliance market is becoming increasingly crowded, the development work behind the devices is not quickly or easily replicable. StorgeTek spent 10.7% of its revenue on R&D last reported quarter.

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