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EMC is also using higher-end versions of the VNX, which scale to over 1,000 hard drives, to replace its Clariion SAN and Celerra NAS appliances with a single unified storage appliance, Herzog said.
These units feature new Intel processors to give them three times the performance of EMC's current Clariion and Celerra appliances, and leverage SSDs and EMC's FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) technology to automatically migrate data from the SSDs to hard drives when the data is accessed less frequently, Herzog said.
The entire VNX family will be primarily sold through indirect channels, with EMC direct sales reps having only a very limited opportunity to sell them, Herzog said.
However, Dell, which has traditionally been EMC's largest reseller partner much to the angst of EMC's other solution providers, will not have access to the VNX line.
To take its entry-level VNXe line to market, EMC plans to recruit several thousand new solution providers who will sign on initially to sell just VNXe but who EMC hopes will eventually grow their EMC commitment and join its Velocity partner program, said Gregg Ambulos, vice president of worldwide global channel operations for the vendor.
"We're looking to recruit thousands of VARs," Ambulos said. "There will be some VARs who sell three or four units a year. That will be very important for us."
EMC wants to make it easy for new solution providers to work with VNXe. The company is offering a simple online portal partners can use to sign up, specify which distributor they want to use and take a short online training course, Ambulos said.
"Conceivable, we can get someone in, up, and selling within three hours," he said. "It's awesome."
Jamie Shepard, executive vice president of technology solutions for Marlborough, Mass.-based International Computerware Inc. (ICI), EMC’s Global Services Partner of the Year, expects VNXe and the new VNX product family to drive explosive sales growth for ICI. Shepard said VNXe alone will drive $5 million in sales for his company in 2011.
“They have brought storage provisioning and management into the 21st century and beyond,” said Shepard of the product launch. “Before VNXe they had superior products but they were difficult to provision and manage.”
However, Shepard said, he fears that EMC will be recruiting many low-end storage partners to fill the void left with the lessening of its reseller relationship with Dell.
"EMC needs to be concerned about protecting the branding already in place," he said. "Letting a bunch of partners loose who sell VNXe without certifications, who can call themselves EMC partners, will create a problem."
Next: Ambulos Says Wider Channel Base Not An Issue