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EMC takes aim at Microsoft users with new Clariion

EMC has announced a new, smaller Clariion storage array for midrange storage environments. Experts agree that EMC is targeting Microsoft users through its reselling relationship with Dell.

Sixty days after announcing its largest Clariion storage array with the CX600, EMC Corp. has added a new, smaller Clariion to its product line in hopes of capitalizing on the untapped well of Microsoft users looking for midrange storage.

Jay Krone, EMC's director of Clariion marketing, said the CX400 shares the same software and network storage attributes as its bigger brother, the CX600.

"The fundamental hardware components of the CX400 and the CX600 are the same," he said. "[What] this means is if you bought a 400 and expanded it to maximum capacity and needed to upgrade, there is no need to move migrate or back up data. The hardware allows you to pull out the engine, put in a bigger engine and not change the payload."

The full 2-gigabit Clariion CX400 delivers 680M byte/sec of cached bandwidth, and runs on the FLARE operating environment. Today, the software suite available across both Clariion and Symmetrix systems includes members of the EMC ControlCenter family of management software, such as Automated Resource Manager, Database Tuner, Replication Manager, SAN Manager, StorageScope, Workload Analyzer and other products, such as PowerPath and EMC Data Manager, EMC said.

Moreover, John Webster, co-founder and president of the Data Mobility Group Inc., Nashua, N.H., said that EMC's relationship with Dell Computer Corp. will strengthen the storage giant's attempt to make inroads with companies looking for midrange storage devices. That is, he said, if you believe that the Microsoft customer base represents the next big opportunity for storage vendors, then EMC's relationship with Dell will be a plus as it markets the CX400, because users tend to buy servers and storage together.

"[EMC has] come up with an entry point in a storage product line that's affordable, but also has some functionality and allows you to scale up," Webster said. "They are really going after the Microsoft base in ways that they haven't been able to before."

Robert Passmore, storage analyst for Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn., said the CX400 will compete directly with the Compaq MSA1000, Compaq's older MA8000, IBM's FasT 500 and 700 and Sun's T3 based arrays.

"The CX400 is probably a better match for the upper end of Dell's customer base than the CX600, which is probably too big," Passmore said. "The other family members should round out the offering and give Dell an effective range of SAN-based disk arrays."

EMC also hinted that an even smaller version of the Clariion will join the CX400 and CX600 in the near future.

Dell is also banking on the success of the CX400. With the one year anniversary of its reselling deal with EMC coming up, Dell's manager of Dell/EMC products, Russell Bailey, said that the company's network storage revenues have grown 25%.

Bailey said Dell is looking to expand its customer base and target its competition.

He added that Dell will integrate its NAS products with the CX400 to give customers a SAN and NAS combination.

The CX400 is available now from EMC and its network of channel partners.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer


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