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How Does Intel/EMC Pact Stack Up?

Intel partners will soon be able to private-label storage arrays based on the same technology EMC offers to Dell, EMC and Intel said.

The two unveiled a multiyear storage OEM agreement that allows Intel to offer the software stack that EMC features in its new Clariion AX150 array to its indirect sales channels. The AX150 family was separately unveiled by EMC and its OEM partner Dell last week as well.

Intel expects its new SSR212PP storage system, code-named Pyramid Peak, to be in the channel by May. In addition to the EMC software stack, it features up to 12 Serial ATA II disk drives in a 2U rack-mount enclosure.

Intel earlier this year introduced the SSR212MA Mount Adams platform to system builders. Like the SSR212PP, the SSR212MA fits up to 12 hard drives in a 2U package. However, it is based on the software stack from LeftHand Networks.

Scott Peiffer, director of storage systems marketing at Intel, said that while Pyramid Peak is targeted at businesses looking for low-cost arrays, Mount Adams includes higher-end features, such as volume provisioning, clustered storage, data snapshots, data replication and disaster recovery.

For system builders, being able to say they can now offer a storage array with the same features and software as Dell’s low-end model is a mixed blessing. Stephen Moll, director of operations at Computer Technology Link, Portland, Ore., said customers are always comparing products to Dell.

“If we can go in with storage and say it has the same technology and software as Dell, it will help in the sale if we are going against Dell,” Moll said. “But if not, then there’s no real benefit.”

Said Andy Kretzer, director of sales and marketing at Bold Data Technology, a Fremont, Calif., system builder, “Having access to the same technology as our tier-one competitors can only be a good thing.”

Hans Geyer, vice president and general manager of Intel’s storage group, said EMC, Hopkinton, Mass., and Intel, Santa Clara, Calif., discussed the move with Dell before unveiling the relationship.

“[Dell] knows this expands the pie. We have as complementary a relationship as any three companies,” Geyer said.

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