EMC Intros NAS Appliance Exclusively For Channel

The NetWin 110, based on the latest version of Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2003, gives NAS connectivity to EMC's Clariion arrays, said Tom Joyce, senior director of NAS product marketing at EMC, Hopkinton, Mass.

That connectivity includes the company's upcoming low-cost array, code-named Piranha, which EMC executives have hinted will be released shortly with a list price of less than $10,000, according to industry sources.

EMC is one of a number of vendors quickly rolling out NAS appliances based on the Windows Storage Server 2003 operating system with a new features pack that Microsoft introduced about two months ago, industry sources said.

As such, it signifies a continued strong relationship between EMC and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, one that was tested by EMC's acquisition earlier this year of VMware, a developer of server virtualization software. Microsoft is expected to unveil its own competing server virtualization software this summer.

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The NetWin 110 is EMC's second NAS appliance based on Windows Storage Server 2003, following the NetWin 200, released late last year.

The NetWin 110 comes in a 1U rack-mount enclosure and includes a single 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor and 1 Gbyte of DDR memory. The appliance attaches to a Clariion array to allow data stored on the Clariion to be served in file format instead of a SAN's block format. When it ships in June, it is expected to have a list price of $6,100, Joyce said.

The NetWin 200 features dual 3.06GHz Xeon processors, 2 Gbytes of memory and redundant hot-swappable power sources in a 2U form factor with a list price of $17,200, he said.

Joyce said the NetWin 110 is aimed at easing the burden caused by growing storage capacities in Microsoft Windows environments. It includes the ability to consolidate file, database and print servers under Microsoft Exchange 2003. The appliance also includes trial versions of Legato RepliStor data protection software and Legato NetWorker data backup software, and can be ordered with EMC's OnCourse content distribution software as an option.

Joyce said he expects the NetWin 110 to be a channel-only product. "We are looking for ways to become a better partner for VARs and distributors to work with," he said. "We want to give partners something unique to sell."

If EMC is approached by a large direct account interested in purchasing the NetWin 110, the company will sell it but will call on solution providers to fulfill the order, Joyce said.

The NetWin 110 will be available to solution providers direct from EMC or via Arrow Electronics, Avnet, CDW or Tech Data.

However, said Joyce, it will not be available through Dell, since EMC places its NAS appliances in the same categories as its servers. "They are not going to be buying servers from us," he said.

Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Chi, a Warrensville Heights, Ohio-based solution provider, said Chi already installs Clariion arrays with NAS heads from other vendors using software from FalconStor, but that the NetWin 110 should put EMC in a good position in this space.

The NetWin 110 is one way to talk to customers about flexibility and options for their Clariion arrays, Knieriemen said. "They can utilize disk in a couple different ways, for NAS and RAID."