hds centre in hong kong to target small firms Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) aims to sharpen its focus on the growing adoption of storage networking by small businesses in Asia with the opening of a regional solutions centre in Hong Kong. California-based HDS, a wholly owned subsidiary of electronics giant Hitachi, has designed the centre to help small and medium-sized enterprises cut the cost and complexity of testing and evaluating storage systems. 'This centre provides a venue for high-quality, two-way exchanges between our company and customers, prospects, business partners, industry experts and even educational institutions,' said Andrew Sampson, general manager at HDS Hong Kong and Macau. Hong Kong serves as Asia-Pacific headquarters for HDS, a supplier of networked external disk storage hardware and software. Its global rivals include market leader EMC and IBM. Research firm International Data Corp (IDC) reported sales of external disk storage systems in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, grew 8.5 per cent last year to US$1.57 billion from US$1.45 billion in 2003. IDC Asia-Pacific associate vice-president for storage research Graham Penn said: 'The increased adoption of entry and mid-range networked storage systems was a notable feature of the market due to the improved flexibility and cost-effectiveness of these systems.' China, Australia and South Korea remained the largest markets in the region, IDC said. It also found the highest revenue growth rates for networked storage vendors were in Hong Kong, India, Singapore, New Zealand and Malaysia. china neEds more cable products The steady rollout of large enterprise development projects in China is pushing up demand for structured cabling products in Asia, industry experts say. 'We see growing investments across many industries in China, which is our biggest market outside of the United States,' said Ispran Kandasamy, vice-president and managing director for Asia-Pacific operations at Systimax Solutions. Systimax, a unit of US-based cabling giant CommScope, on March 14 signed a deal to supply high-performance structured cabling products and services for Terminal 3 of the Beijing Capital International Airport. Building Services Research and Information Association, an independent British consultancy and market research firm, forecast China would achieve more than 10 per cent annual growth rate over the next four years for sales of structured cabling.