EMC, IBM Roll Out Networking Bundles

Target installation, performance issues.

EMC Corp. and IBM have rolled out networking bundles and speed upgrades, acknowledging that installation hassles and performance issues are still among storage administrators top concerns.

EMCs bundles apply to its midrange Clariion family, with most features available now, said company officials, in Hopkinton, Mass. IBMs are for its high-end Enterprise Storage System 800 series, also known as Shark, and will ship next month, said officials, in Armonk, N.Y.

EMCs bundles include, officials said, the Clariion CX200, with 350GB of storage; Navisphere Web-based management and Access Logix host management software; host bus adapters; and Fibre Channel cables. The bundles also come with installation, support, a hardware warranty and software maintenance, they said.

Users can buy a direct-attached, high-availability version for $17,000 or SAN (storage area network) versions, starting at $23,000, officials said. Later this quarter, EMC will let users try the recently launched VisualSAN and VisualSRM software for free, activated through a Web site.

With partner Dell Inc., "weve been getting some feedback from them that anything we can do to make it easier to buy, sell [or] deploy would all be important," said Joel Schwartz, EMCs senior vice president for Clariion systems. However, "this whole program is not designed to solve any problem between Dell and ourselves; its a market expansion program," Schwartz said.

In bundling for smaller customers, "this is just kind of a start," Schwartz said. For example, other software for small organizations storage needs may come through future acquisitions such as the recent Prisa Networks Inc. and Astrum Software Corp. deals, he said.

IBM, meanwhile, is offering the new Turbo II version of Shark with six controllers at 750MHz versus 688MHz for the original Turbo model, officials said. Also new is Fibre Channel connectivity for Sharks remote data movement feature, known as PPRC (Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy). PPRC currently uses only the Enterprise Systems Connection, which is slower in such applications and uses more channels, they said.

All IBMs data movement technologies—including PPRC, Extended Remote Copy, FlashCopy and Parallel Access Volumes—are getting a Storage Management Initiative Specification application interface, officials said.

Separately, IBM last week extended its partnership with Computer Network Technology Corp. to support the Minneapolis companys WAN technology for data replication. IBM also made its SAN Volume Controller, which conducts storage virtualization, available to run inside Cisco Systems Inc.s modular Multilayer DataCenter Switch 9200 and 9500 series.