Fierce competition in the high-end storage market means that every penny counts when it comes to swaying the customer. That's why EMC Corp., Hopkinton, Mass., hopes the pricing plan for its Symmetrix DMX series will win with IT buyers.
EMC on Monday pulled back the curtain on three new models of its high-end Symmetrix storage array, which feature a new architecture and a price range of $409,000 to $2.5 million.
EMC spokesman Dave Farmer said the list price for the Symmetrix DMX line runs an average of 4 to 8 cents per megabyte.
"We're still operating on price per megabyte," Farmer said. For example, a DMX1000 with 18.5 terabytes (TB) of usable capacity is 6.7 cents per MB or $67 per GB.
"I think you will find that EMC's list prices are lower, but also the discounts they give are more in line with standard practice," said Mike Fisch, a senior analyst with the Clipper Group Inc., Wellesley, Mass. "They used to have very high list prices and very high discounts. When you consider the leap forward in performance of the Symmetrix DMX, with what I expect to be fairly competitive pricing, it is a good value proposition for customers."
Fisch said EMC will likely win back some high-end market share from Hitachi and IBM with the DMX series.
The Symmetrix DMX800 is a rack-mounted system that can scale to 16 front-end ports. It features up to 17.5 TB of capacity and from 4 to 32 GB of cache. EMC said the Direct Matrix architecture has allowed the DMX800 to fit in smaller, more cost-effective modular increments.
The Symmetrix DMX1000 is a single-bay integrated system that scales to 48 front-end ports, from 3.5 to 21 TB of capacity and from 4 to 64 GB of cache.
Symmetrix DMX2000 is a dual-bay integrated system. It scales from 8 to 96 front-end ports, from 7 to 42 TB of storage capacity and from 8 to 128 GB of cache.
Users agree that EMC's high-end competition should be nervous. According to a recent SearchStorage.com poll, 59% of respondents believe EMC's Symmetrix DMX series has raised the performance bar for high-end products.
There is no question that EMC is turning up the competitive heat when it comes to price wars.
"They're getting aggressive in the field," said Jamie Gruener, a senior analyst with Boston-based Yankee Group Inc.
However, Gruener said, the product list price is seldom what a customer pays for storage.
"List price is totally different than a price actually paid by the customer. It's dependent on the number of vendors bidding [for a customer contract]," Gruener said. "Many times, negotiation occurs well after pricing is set."
Two of EMC's biggest competitors in high-end storage announced upgrades to their respective arrays that coincided with EMC's Symmetrix DMX series debut on Monday. Hitachi Data Systems beefed up its Lightning 9900 V series storage systems by doubling the capacity, connectivity and throughput. IBM took the open storage management route and announced delivery of the first "Bluefin" open industry standard interface for the IBM Enterprise Storage Server Model 800, code-named Shark.
IBM also said it will offer 15,000 rpm, 72.8 GB disk drives, increasing Shark's throughput and performance by 50%. IBM will also support the use of 15,000 rpm and 10,000 rpm disks of the same capacity within the IBM Shark Model 800, F10 and F20 by the second half of 2003. These enhancements will be made available on Feb. 21, 2003. Let us know what you think about the story. E-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer
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