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Telstra sees benefits in data storage business

TELSTRA is set to move into the lucrative field of data storage after signing a deal with storage vendor EMC recently.

The telco is hoping to capture a slice of the rapidly expanding storage market by this July. Telstra will combine its communication and IT infrastructure with EMC’s information storage facilities.

The storage service market last year posted revenues of $731 million in Australia and is growing by more than 100 per cent globally.

EMC vice-president Steve Querner said information was now a company’s most valuable asset and needed to be protected adequately.

“This managed service offering will allow companies to manage that information in the most secure, flexible, and cost effective way possible,” Mr Querner said.

Telstra Retail chief of enterprise services Barry Grisdale said the deal positioned Telstra as a market leader.

“Australian businesses will have wideband access to a super-high availability data centre, housing large-scale storage devices, based on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model, without the infrastructure investment,” Mr Grisdale said.

But the announcement has not worried Perth data storage providers. WiredCity business development officer David Lang said Telstra would probably target the enterprise-level businesses.

“We’re not worried at all, due to the fact we’re aiming at SMEs with between 20 and 150 PCs, whereas Telstra is aiming at the enterprise level,” he said.

“And also, a lot of people in WA I know of are pretty sick and tired of Telstra and their service.”

WiredCity introduced its storage service eight months ago and, initially, businesses were reluctant to keep their critical information off premises, Mr Lang said.

However it was cheaper in the long run than individual SMEs investing in firewalls, back up power supplies and air-conditioning systems to house the servers.

Mr Grisdale said Australia was advanced in the outsourcing market and companies would embrace the concept of contracting their data to a third party.

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