Western Digital's about to get bizzy. Silly pun and all, the real deal
is that WD is about to enter the small business market in a big way,
with small office storage servers leading the way. They'll be teaming
with Microsoft in order to "simplify workgroup sharing and data
protection," and of course, Windows
Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials
will be the OS onboard. According to WD, the fruit of the partnership
will be a product that simplifies connection, protection and
collaboration online for small businesses and the information
technology services organizations that support them.
What's interesting is that there doesn't seem to actually be any
indication of what's on deck for these two. The announcement (shown in
full below) seems more like a chance to gloat than anything else. What's
it look like? Will there be an entire SMB product line? Only time will
WD® to Enter Small Business Market With Small Office Storage Servers
Company Teaming with Microsoft to Simplify Workgroup Sharing and Data Protection for Small Business Owners
IRVINE, Calif., July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), a leader in digital storage solutions, announced it will be offering a small-office storage server product and has signed an OEM software agreement with Microsoft Corporation to include the Windows® Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials operating system software. WD® will combine its leading storage technologies with Microsoft's operating system to deliver a complete storage solution for the small business market. The result will be a product that simplifies connection, protection and collaboration online for small businesses and the information technology services organizations that support them.
Fast, dependable and secure access to data, along with complete backup and recovery capability are becoming as crucial for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as it is for large enterprises. According to Forrester Research, SMBs will outpace the projected IT market growth rate of 7.1%. In terms of infrastructure spending increases, storage and servers top SMBs' hardware budget plans. Fifty-three percent of SMBs indicate that they will increase their storage spend.(1) To serve this market, WD joined with Microsoft to incorporate the most advanced online features so businesses can easily and securely share information with clients, consultants or satellite offices located anywhere in the world.
"Small businesses will find great value in the combination of WD's hardware solutions and the recently released Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials solution from Microsoft. I am excited about the opportunity we have with WD and their solutions for helping small businesses run more efficiently," said Nick Parker, VP of Worldwide Marketing for the OEM Division at Microsoft.
"By combining Microsoft's platform with WD's strength in the storage market, the two organizations bring extraordinary synergies that boost productivity and efficiency for small business. With this, WD will offer storage solutions for small business that provides centralized, online shared storage capable of meeting the storage requirements of the small business owners in today's fast paced business environment," said Thomas Gallivan, WD's vice president of marketing for SMB branded products.