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Customers equate 'simplicity' with 'single-vendor solution'

Company execs say that standardizing on one vendor helps simplify their storage and backup systems.

Executives from end user companies at this week's Storage Decisions conference in New York said they're trying to simplify their storage and backup systems, and that standardizing on one vendor is a major step in that direction.

Tim Hesson, manager of storage management for Kindred Healthcare, Inc., for example, said getting rid of McData SAN switches cut a huge amount of management effort out of his department's daily routing.

Other end users acknowledge the risk of being locked in to one vendor, but said the reduction in management overhead was worth it. Some said they're getting better service because of the increased spend with one company.

Only about 14% of the total IT spend goes for hardware, according to Analysts Glasshouse Technologies, Inc. So standardizing on a small number of providers isn't as broad a risk as many users may think.

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