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Seagate, Cobalt Partner to Provide Linux-based Solutions

Computer disk drive maker Seagate Technology, Inc. Monday formed a strategic partnership with Cobalt Networks, Inc. to build a suite of Linux-based server appliances for Internet and Application Service Providers.

Fresh from its drive to privatize, Seagate (SEG) intends to work with Cobalt (COBT) to deliver ISPs and ASPs storage and data protection services.

The scalable data protection system enables ISPs and ASPs to generate incremental revenue through re-selling storage and data protection applications to small and medium-sized business customers.

Tom Mulvaney, Seagate senior vice president of Internet solutions said ISPs could profit from Web businesses need to store data.

"As Web-based applications continue to evolve and drive storage requirements, the idea of an ISP providing storage as an incremental service to their small-to-medium sized business customers is becoming more and more of a reality," Mulvaney said. "Offering small-to-medium sized businesses access to their information without interruption and fully protected is a service all businesses in today's Internet economy can't do without."

Mulvaney added that its alliance with Cobalt would ability to target ISPs with the new appliances.

"Cobalt's strong positioning in the service provider market and their solid understanding of vending Web-based applications to small-to-medium sized businesses allowed Seagate to develop ways to better serve ISP customers through the delivery of storage as an application," Mulvaney said.

This partnership provides both companies with the ability to deliver turnkey server appliance solutions. Through the agreement, Seagate is granted complete access to Cobalt's worldwide customer base including more than 1,000 ISPs.

Cobalt plans to leverage Seagate's established sales and distribution channels to broaden its sales outlets in an effort to capture marketshare in the server appliance business segment.

The agreement also provides Seagate the opportunity to utilize Cobalt's third party developer program for application development on the Seagate server appliances.

Applications that will be developed on the Seagate server appliance will also be available for the Cobalt platform.

Because the Seagate server appliance platform is Linux-based, application development and deployment will reduce time-to-market for Seagate's suite of solutions.

Stephen DeWitt, Cobalt president and chief executive officer, said Seagate truly understands the potential of the new Internet economy and the value that Cobalt server appliances bring to their core business.

"As the Internet Service Provider market matures, competition becomes fierce," DeWitt said. "Seagate is capitalizing on their storage and data protection expertise and leveraging Cobalt server appliances to deliver tools to service providers enabling them to expand their service offerings."

According to Strategic Research Corp. the data protection market is projected to grow from $968 million in 1998 to $2.4 billion in 2003, according to Strategic Research Corporation. Seagate's server appliance solution is well positioned to provide fast-growing ISPs and their customers turnkey storage and data protection.

Dialtone Internet, Inc. is a Florida-based data center that provides custom built Linux and NT Web hosting and e-mail servers for ISPs and ASPs. Al Albarracin, Dialtone chief executive officer, said its rapidly expanding hosting service means that the company has more date to protect and store for its clients.

"With this