EMC to Enter Storage-Over-IP Arena

Enterprise storage leader EMC Corp. Thursday announced its plan to enter the storage-over-IP arena and to more actively pursue midrange and low-end customers.

NEW YORK -- Enterprise storage leader EMC Corp. will enter the storage-over-IP market, more actively pursue a channel strategy for sales to midrange and low-end customers, and "virtually merge" its supply chain with partner Dell Computer Corp.s, Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci said here Thursday.

Unlike rivals Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Hitachi Ltd., EMCs sole focus on storage is the companys best asset, Tucci said during the companys annual analyst day event.

Tuccis comments came two days after HP executives, in a meeting with analysts, emphasized the opposite—that the key to success in a slumping economy is too diversify. HP, which is merging Compaq Computer Corp.s storage business into its own, also resells Hitachi equipment.

Tucci said that a key to weathering the economic slump is to continue to innovate, and that EMC is putting 14 percent of its revenues into research and development, Tucci said. He also said EMC will continue to capitalize on its relationship with Dell Computer Corp. to make inroads into the midrange market.

EMC also will continue to build object-based technology like the recently announced Centera. Centera focuses on data that rarely changes; however, EMC officials had not previously clearly emphasized its object concepts.

That doesnt mean EMC will abandon its high-end Symmetrix products, Tucci said. "We still will have the fastest, biggest, meanest, baddest product on the planet," he said, alluding to the still-unannounced next-generation of Symmetrix. "Were leaving no seams for our competitors to drive through."

On the management software front, Tucci played down the frequent criticism that EMC does not have virtualization software. Virtualization is just "one piece" of AutoIS, he said. Also, EMC will introduce various IP storage software, to link the management of all of EMCs hardware platforms over distances with technologies like the emerging Fibre Channel-over-IP (FCIP), he said.

Additional product details came out from other EMC officials here.

"Over the next several quarters, well be equally busy with next technologies coming out of the labs," said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president of storage platforms operations. EMC will cut its product testing times in half, will consolidate from using 10 different disk drives to using three, and will consolidate the current seven power supply vendors to three, he said.

The Hopkinton, Mass., company also will make the same host-bus adapters and its software drivers run on both the high-end Symmetrix and midrange Clariion systems. A new product called Celeriion will put the network-attached storage versions of Clariion behind Celerra, using software called Dart, he said.