ARN: What are your core competencies in the storage market?
Solsky: Basically we have core competencies across three primary storage platforms: disc, tape and optical. We also have a very strong skill set in storage management software, like backup perspective and disc storage perspective, for example in products like Veritas' Backup Exec.
What sort of products and services does Digital Storage target?
We're targeting high-end corporate and government [clients] for storage solutions. We're very confident in the fibre channel arena so we have implemented a number of storage area networks. Products we are primarily working with there are the EMC Carrion Fibre Channel arrays. Then we'd typically put a tape library at the back of that with backup management software to give it a complete storage and management solution.
What are some of your key business strategies or strengths?
Our ability to provide the end-to-end storage solution. The primary vendors we work with are EMC on the disc side of things. We work with ATL and Exabyte on the tape library side of things and with Veritas on backup storage software.
Are you approaching specific verticals?
We're doing a fair bit of work within vertical markets. We're very strong in pre-press, digital imaging and we do a bit of work in banking and finance. Because storage is still quite a specialised area within itself, we tend to work across a fairly wide range of industries.
With all the hype surrounding storage, how do you find the market?
The data growth is enormous so it's posing a lot of challenges to organisations in terms of actually managing it. A lot of them are having to change their infrastructure and their work architectures to accommodate some of the requirements they've got for high speed. They're looking at fibre channel architectures for the scalability they need to be able to grow so quickly, and they're looking at storage devices that give them the ability to grow very quickly by adding additional capacity and additional throughput capabilities.
Do you spend a lot of time on ongoing service and support?
Our strength tends to be at the system design and system implementation level. Typically we'll go and work with a customer to design the most desirable solution, then we will implement that solution and actually get the whole thing bedded down. Once we've done that, a lot of the primary support refers back to the vendor. Where we provide ongoing professional services would be for stuff like system health checks, growth and capacity planning, some disaster recovery consulting and some backup scheduling.
What do you see the future holding for the high-end storage market?
Over the next 12-18 months a lot of organisations will rearchitect their infrastructure, using SAN technology and move toward fibre channel. Once companies have SANs in place, they will place a much greater emphasis on disaster recovery and actually having the ability to have remote data centres or fail-over centres to give themselves the greatest level of redundancy within their environment to support a lot of their e-commerce platforms and their 24 x 7 requirements, which is driving a lot of client business. Ultimately there will be a lot of moves over the next few years towards outsourcing of storage and backup. We don't do it today, but it's down the track to actually manage storage growth and manage the infrastructure for clients. That's the big future of the industry.