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There's a delicate balance of power among storage vendors, but small tech upstarts might tip the scales. In the storage systems space, there have been only a handful of players -- EMC, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and IBM -- that have truly controlled the high-end enterprise array market. These vendors fight over billions of your dollars every year; much more than that if you count all of the ancillary stuff surrounding the hardware. If a vendor can get the "core," it can usually find other spots within the enterprise to sell the rest of its wares.
Steve Duplessie is the founder and senior analyst for the Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass.