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The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is close to selecting a vendor for its NZ$1 million (US$425,000) storage project.

NZDF has declined to name which two storage providers it has short-listed, but Compaq Computer Corp. and EMC Corp. gear figure heavily in storage area networks (SANs) recently implemented by the Army, Navy, Airforce and Defence headquarters.

In a report for NZDF delivered in mid-January, U.S. consultancy Gartner Group recommended two companies out of the main storage companies - EMC, Compaq, IBM Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and Network Appliance Inc.

Gartner also advised Defence consolidate its storage as much as possible rather than have point solutions dotted around the country, and that organizations should buy storage when they need it, not before.

"The aim is to come up with a strategy for the next two to three years," says deputy director of command control and information systems Warwick Sullivan. "Storage is quite volatile so we don't want to lock ourselves into something too long-term."

NZDF has about two terabytes of data to be stored, says Sullivan.

"We have experienced a large and rapid growth in storage partly due to greater use of online computing and GIS. Each business unit was anticipating a storage increase and putting in bids for capital funding," he says.

"It became clear we were in danger of moving down different tracks at different paces so we put all storage requirements into one project."

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