EMC Pushes Into Entry Level With Sub-$10K Clariion Array

The company was able to bring the entry-level price to that level by replacing the array's dual controller with a single-controller option, said Jay Krone, director of Clariion marketing.

The new single-controller version of the Clariion CX200 supports a maximum of 15 hard drives for a native capacity of up to 2.2 Tbytes, Krone said.

EMC also increased the performance of its dual-controller CX200 to up to 40,000 IOs per second, compared with the previous 25,000 IOs per second, Krone said. The dual-controller model also allows ATA and Fibre Channel hard drives to be mixed and matched, much like they can be in the company's CX400 and CX600, he said.

The single-controller CX200 is the latest in a series of moves aimed at bringing EMC's products to the small and midsize business spaces, Krone said. In addition to direct sales to solution providers, the company currently works with three distributors--Arrow Electronics, Avnet Hall-Mark and Bell Microproducts--carrying the CX family, he said.

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"These distributors touch smaller resellers," he said. "We are looking to broaden distribution. I think there will be a few new distributors who will sign by end-of-year."

Joe Cunningham, general manager of Computer Professionals International, an Albany, N.Y.-based small and midsize business solution provider that recently re-engaged with EMC, said he is glad to see EMC push into this space.

"In the small and midsize markets, there is still a slow adoption rate for SANs," he said. "Any attempt by a manufacturer to bring their products down to this space helps."

The challenge when selling SANs is that the whole concept of centralized storage and storage pooling is still foreign to most small-business clients, Cunningham said. On top of this, entry-level SAN hardware is still typically priced in the $30,000 to $40,000 range, making the EMC array attractive from a pricing point of view, he said.