EMC/Dell partnership to focus on lower costs

EMC announced yesterday that it will use a reseller partnership with Dell Computer to reduce the production costs of its storage products in its battle against IBM Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and others that have eaten away at its market share over the past year.

The reseller partnership, announced late last year, also opens Dell to enterprise-class sales opportunities and gives EMC penetration into the midsize and entry-level marketplace traditionally held by Dell.

"Prior to the EMC relationship, we sold storage directly into our existing Dell server accounts. Now we have a new product line for the mixed environment. It doubled our available market opportunity," said Frank Frankovsky, senior manager of Dell/EMC product management.

Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC is also in discussions with Dell to use the company's supply chain management and manufacturing techniques to reduce its cost of production.

"This is much more than than just a product-resale agreement," Frankovsky said.

Separately, EMC also announced significant enhancements to its storage software suite of products that will help simplify management, reduce costs and increase data protection for customers running EMC/Dell storage-area networks. The software upgrades are set to roll out next month.

EMC ControlCenter Navisphere 6.0 is a Web-based platform that will allow IT managers to use Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer or Netscape Communications Corp.'s Netscape browsers to remotely change storage configurations and receive alarms to problems.

EMC said it's also positioning its midrange-class Clariion FC4500 RAID box to address the entry-level market.

"In essence, what we're talking about is full solution," said Frankovsky. "Let's say you have four servers and want to build them out into a full storage-area network; you can do it with the switches, cabling, disk arrays and services to make the connections for US$70,000 to $100,000."

EMC's SnapView Version 1.3 will now allow up to eight point-in-time snapshot images of a file system and will retain them independently of subsequent changes for faster recovery or to use for other processes such as a backup job or data analysis.

MirrorView 1.3 will allow IT managers to mirror one primary site to two disaster recovery or business continuance sites or mirror four primary sites to a single secondary site to reduce the cost of disaster recovery through consolidation.

"This class of functionality had traditionally only been available in very high-priced products," said Frankovsky. "We're trying to position this to bring in reach, from a financial perspective, the broadest array of clients as possible."

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