EMC Offers Stripped-Down Clariion

For entry-level customers on tight budgets, EMC's Clariion CX200 storage system is now available without the standard redundancy features.

For entry-level customers on tight budgets, EMC Corp.s Clariion CX200 storage system is now available without the standard redundancy features, officials said this week.

Intended as an alternative to Hewlett-Packard Co.s Modular Storage Array 1000, EMC removed the CX200s second processor, power supply and fan, as well as its cache backup battery.

Customers can upgrade the new single-processor version to a standard CX200, or to the higher-end CX400 or CX600, without having to configure data movement, officials said.

Also, standard CX200 models now have 40,000 inputs/outputs per second, versus 25,000 before, they said.

Officials of the Hopkinton, Mass., company declined to give the price of a non-redundant CX200 with a typical size of 0.5 to 1.5 terabytes. Its list price begins at $10,000, but thats with an unrealistically small 108GB, officials acknowledged.

Also affecting the price is whether customers use the new ATA drives or the faster and more reliable but also pricier Fibre Channel drives.

Although its not for mission-critical data, "whats really happening here is a realization that the largest marketplace is [small and medium-sized businesses]. Theyre getting the price down to somewhere around two to three cents a megabyte," said Randy Kerns, an analyst with Evaluator Group Inc., in Greenwood Village, Colo. For many small customers, "it gives them their first step out. Its nice to have the option," he said.

The next trend for bringing high-end storage down to entry-level users will be in software, Kerns said. Itll be features like point-in-time snapshots through the new features in Windows Server 2003, he noted.

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