EMC Unveils Several Upgrades

EMC Unveils Several Upgrades On April 25 in New York, EMC, the market leader in enterprise storage systems and software and a significant player in midrange storage systems since its acquisition of Data General's (DG’s) CLARiiON division a year ago, made several announcements about its product line. Some of the announcements reflect hardware and software line upgrades, others pertain to the integration of CLARiiON customers into EMC storage networks, and one announcement introduces a new branding and marketing effort. EMC announced the following hardware storage products:

  • Symmetrix 8000—A complete line of EMC Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems, including the world's highest-capacity (19.1TB) storage system.
  • EMC CLARiiON FC4500—The first CLARiiON system to offer simultaneous multiplatform host support, switched Fibre Channel connectivity with the EMC Enterprise Storage Network, data protection and shared storage access software, and integration with EMC's centralized management software framework, EMC ControlCenter.
EMC also added connectivity products:
  • EMC Celerra—A network-attached file server that offers tighter integration with the EMC Enterprise Storage Network by supporting switched Fibre Channel and industry-standard backup protocols and tighter integration with EMC Symmetrix Remote Data Facility software.
  • EMC Connectrix improvements—A line of departmental Connectrix switches and improvements to the Fibre Channel switch-based Connectrix enterprise director.
In the software arena, EMC announced:
  • EMC Enginuity Operating Environment—A framework and published Symmetrix API that lets vendors add software functionality (e.g., advanced data protection, standardized management, high-performance data movement, load balancing) to Symmetrix systems.
  • EMC Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) software, EMC ControlCenter management framework, EMC TimeFinder, and EMC InfoMover—Upgrades to each product.
  • EMC CopyCross for MVS software—An application that provides disk recovery from tape for rapid system restarts after planned or unplanned outages.
  • EMC Access Logix software—Software for CLARiiON that allows heterogeneous platform management of a CLARiiON storage system from one storage management interface.

The announcements represent the most important news from EMC since the DG acquisition, signaling some significant new initiatives for the company. EMC has high hopes for its Celerra Network Attached Storage (NAS) system and hopes to recreate the success it had with JBODs (Just a Bunch of Disks in a storage cabinet) storage. Enterprise NAS devices could play a central role in the evolution of Storage Area Networks (SANs) and represent a significant and less complicated approach than SANs to multi-OS storage support. In fact, NAS devices can front-end SANs in some architectures.

On April 12, EMC announced a four-point program to integrate the 115,000 CLARiiON systems customers into EMC's global support network. The CLARiiON program includes a warranty extension, financial incentives to customers to upgrade SCSI-based CLARiiON systems to Fibre Channel CLARiiON technology, a free evaluation of its storage system performance in UNIX application environments, and a legacy trade that provides credits for upgrading CLARiiON systems. After acquiring CLARiiON, EMC extended its offerings to the midrange storage market.

EMC also unveiled a brand marketing campaign to promote its new corporate tag line, "Where Information Lives." The company will air TV spots in conjunction with the World Golf Championships series, which includes the EMC Golf Skills Challenge, the EMC Kaanapali Classic, and the EMC World Cup.

EMC has a storage strategy that it calls Enterprise Storage Networking, a tag that other storage vendors in the industry have been quick to adopt and adapt. EMC's strategy is to use the EMC hardware and software portfolio to combine storage systems that are open to a wide variety of server platforms, are highly scalable, and contain best-of-breed software, with the ability to write or adapt software to EMC's products. The strategy lacks interoperability with other storage vendors' hardware, switches, and software and doesn't include full compliance with developing open-SAN standards. However, market-leader standards often become the adopted standards, and the market leader becomes open, by default.

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