EMC extends on-site services offerings

EMC last week extended its professional services arm with the unveiling of an on-site support program to help IT officials manage large storage environments.

In addition, the company today is set to bring out an entry-level disk backup system designed for small and midsize businesses, along with updates to the full Clariion Disk Library line.

The EMC Managed Services offering is geared for businesses that require multiyear, on-site management of storage environments with more than 100TB of capacity. Under the program, EMC employees are dedicated to a site and provide support based on service-level agreements.

Thomas Schiller, general manager of IT at Toyota Motorsport in Cologne, Germany, an early user of the service, said that it has enabled his company to focus IT resources on its core business.

With six to eight EMC workers on-site, Toyota Motorsport, which handles the design, manufacturing and operations for the Toyota Formula 1 program, doesn't "need to have [its] own dedicated resources," Schiller said.

Previously, the company used its own IT staff, along with EMC employees, for short-term engagements, he said. Schiller would not disclose how much EMC is paid for the service.

EMC said American Express has also signed a multiyear contract for the new services.

A spokeswoman for New York-based American Express said the company hopes the program can increase its flexibility and improve its cost structure for data storage.

The new entry-level disk backup system, the Clariion DL210, has a capacity of between 4TB and 24TB.

It's a Small World

"An entry-level box for a smaller enterprise is a very good idea," said John Halamka, CIO at Harvard Medical School and CareGroup Healthcare System in Boston.

Halamka said he's not yet familiar with the new low-end product, but said he expects it to offer the reliability he finds on the high-end EMC backup systems at the medical school.

Meanwhile, The Black & Decker in Towson, Md., plans to evaluate the new low-end model for its remote sites, said Ian McLeavy, manager of global engineering storage. The company already uses EMC's 700 series of high-end Clariion disk backup systems, he said.

EMC will also announce today that the full Clariion line of tape drives will now support the IBM iSeries platform and EMC's NetWorker 7.3 backup and recovery software, which EMC gained in its acquisition of Legato Systems Inc. more than two years ago.

This latest announcement shows that EMC is paying attention to user complaints that the company's various acquisitions have not been well integrated, said John Webster, an analyst at Data Mobility Group in Nashua, N.H.

Solheim is a reporter for the IDG News Service.

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