StorageNetworks Lands Big Software Deal With EDS

StorageNetworks executives said the managed storage services and software company landed a multi-year, multimillion-dollar deal for software to manage the entire storage infrastructure of EDS.

Announced as part of StorageNetworks' earnings call on Thursday, EDS will migrate its storage infrastructure at its 13 primary data centers worldwide to networked storage managed by StorageNetworks' STORos software, said John Clavin, executive vice president for StorageNetworks.

"Ultimately, the storage that could come under management might be up to 7 or 8 petabytes at EDS," said Clavin. "EDS is trying to create a single platform to manage its storage from a single location."

Of the 7 Pbytes to 8 Pbytes of storage EDS currently owns, only about 10 percent is networked, with the rest consisting of direct-attached storage, said Clavin. EDS' top-three storage vendors are Hitachi Data Systems, EMC and Sun Microsystems, but there are others, creating a complex heterogeneous environment, he said.

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EDS will use STORos to manage that environment and provide managed storage services to clients, Clavin said. EDS will also use StorageNetworks' STORlabs interoperability laboratory, also based here, to qualify new SANs, NAS devices and libraries for use in the company's storage network, he said.

Clavin would not discuss the terms of the deal. However, he said StorageNetworks had $120 million in top-line revenue in 2001, and the deal makes EDS the company's third-largest client, with the potential to become No. 1 or No. 2 in the future.

EDS initially will roll out the new software in its data centers in Australia, Germany and Plano, Texas, and gradually expand to its 10 other centers over time.

Clavin said discussions between the two started with a meeting between Peter Bell, chairman and CEO of StorageNetworks, and Dick Brown, chairman and CEO of EDS, in October 2000. "They did a tremendous amount of due diligence on us, our technology, the industry, other vendors, even to see if they could do it themselves," he said.

EDS officials declined to comment on the news, preferring instead to wait until the program is at a more advanced stage.

This week also saw two other managed service providers add new storage services to their product cards.

Atlanta-based BellSouth on Monday introduced BellSouth Enterprise Data Backup Service to give business clients data backup and restore services using Gigabit Ethernet or other transport services.

BellSouth's new service allows up to 100 percent of clients' data to be stored and maintained on a 24x7x365 basis. The company uses software from StorageNetworks to manage and offer the service.

On Tuesday, Loudcloud, Sunnyvale, Calif., started offering storage management services as part of the company's complete Web infrastructure management offerings.

The Loudcloud storage services include a SAN service using EMC's Symmetrix arrays, a NAS service based on storage subsystems from Network Appliance, and a foundation storage service based on inexpensive local disk storage, company officials said.