Compaq is selling storage on demand as part of a new "utility" offering to businesses, which will ease the management of enterprise storage, the company claims.
The Compaq Private Storage Utility includes consulting, installation, configuration, and storage management, which are all hosted on the customer's site.
Geared towards companies unable to devote staff to manage their storage, the utility model will be monitored from a data-centre in Reading.
Donal Madden, storage business manager at Compaq, said, "We can go to customer sites, and, if necessary, build the storage from scratch. We then monitor this remotely and simply send someone out to the site to add [further] storage."
The move follows IBM's recent announcement of storage on demand for its flagship Shark Enterprise Storage Server and Magstar Virtual Tape Server. Madden said the Compaq offering goes further. "We can take the whole management overhead away from the customer," he said.
Compaq is now offering users "pay-as-you-grow"pricing terms. Phil Payne, analyst at Isham Research said, "The Compaq idea is more of a usage charge, in this way it is similar to the charge made by a telephone company, for example. With IBM, on the other hand, you effectively lease the storage.
"Because this uses Compaq's operating capital instead of the user's it is a sign that the company is investing in the storage market. There are also signs in this announcement that they know what has to be done in the future."