EMC Mounts Storage Product Offensive

Hoping to cash in on enterprise users' growing appetite for centralized storage, EMC Corp. today debuted what it believes is the first integrated enterprise-class Storage Area Network to feature a seamlessly integrated Fibre Channel network.

At the heart of a collection of new products unwrapped today is the EMC Connectrix Enterprise Storage Network System that company officials said can offer as high as 64-port switched Fibre Channel connectivity between EMC Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems and a variety of Unix and Windows NT-based distributed servers.

The new systems reportedly can quadruple the number of servers that can connect to an EMC Symmetrix Enterprise Storage system, compared with that of direct Fibre Channel server-to-Symmetrix storage connections, company officials said.

The new line can store more than 9 terabytes, or the equivalent of 2.25 billion pages of text, in one system. It will be targeted at large corporate shops interested in deploying enterprise storage networks (ESN) to consolidate rapidly growing amounts of data collected from intranets and the Internet.

The new systems will support a mix of 18GB and 36GB disk drives and allow users a more appropriate balance of performance and capacity in their specific application environments, officials said. The systems will also support any combination of Unix, Windows NT, AS/400, and PC LAN operating systems through the Symmetrix 3000 line. The Symmetrix 5000 line permits mainframes to be added to the mix.

Reinforcing its hardware announcements, EMC rolled out several new enterprise-level software storage products largely intended to help corporate users simplify the implementation and to manage ESNs.

The EMC Connectrix Management software is designed to help users manage, from a single location, the EMC Enterprise Storage Network through a high-level view of multiple Connectrix systems as well as the more detailed "drill-down" management of multiple Connectrix Enterprise Directors.

The company Monday also issued an improved version of its embedded software which better supports network storage functions such as network switching and the migration from current SCSI connections to Fibre Channel-based networks.

EMC also delivered a version of its InfoMover sharing software that supports Windows NT and now permits Microsoft's operating system to share data with mainframes and larger Unix host systems.

The recent emergence of enterprise storage networks is now allowing many Windows NT servers to participate more integrally in enterprise data sharing because they can more easily access centralized data stores, officials said.

With Monday's announcements, EMC officials believe they are better positioned to be an aggressive competitor in the storage market, which they estimate will be worth over US$50 billion [B] by 2002.

"I can't think of a technology trend that doesn't drive the need for more storage, whether it is new on-line apps, data warehousing, Internet data consolidation, or e-commerce," said Michael Ruettgers, EMC's president and CEO, at a press conference in New York. "It is becoming an increasingly e-world that is increasingly demanding more enterprise storage."

All of the products announced today are available immediately.

EMC Corp., in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, can be reached at www.emc.com.

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