The success of the linear tape open (LTO) standard is an example of how co-operation works in the storage world.
The partnership between Seagate, Hewlett-Packard and IBM started in 1997 after the vendors recognised an opportunity to provide a tape standard to support the move towards centralisation. Since then, one million cartridge units have been sold and LTO has just been given industry-standard status.
"People said in 1997 that this wouldn't work and companies would never be get on," Chris Straghalis, Seagate senior manager, strategic planning and develop-ment, told Computer Weekly.
Mick Turner, IBM tape marketing manager EMEA, stressed that working together did not mean an end to vendor competition.
"The standard of the cartridge is just the way we read and write to it," he said. "There is scope within the standard to use different products to compete."
"The element of competition is healthy," added Hewlett-Packard business manager, Stephen Holmes. "All nine media manufacturers are supplying products and have multiple suppliers. If you have a committee approach, then it makes it slower. It is because of competition that it has been faster."