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D-Link and Netgear, however, probably have better support for smaller dealers, Allen said. "D-Link isn't the same size as HP and is not dealing with as many dealers as HP," he said.
HP has been working to meet small-business storage needs with a wide range of networked storage products starting with its $500 DataVault appliance, said Lee Johns, director of product marketing for HP StorageWorks.
"D-Link and Netgear are more in the space like that of our DataVault, but they don't really scale up to meet the needs of small businesses with more sophisticated requirements," he said.
HP's DataVault appliance, like the typical D-Link or Netgear products, offers a more simple configuration than other HP products, which could impact the support score, Johns said.
"But that's no excuse," he said. "We expect to win those categories regardless. We're a channel advocate."