EMC Debuts New Entry-Level Storage, Plans To Recruit Thousands Of VARs

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EMC's VNXe SMB Storage Appliance

EMC Tuesday made one of its most comprehensive product launches in years led by release of a new family of SMB storage appliances, backed by a new channel program aimed at expanding the vendor's solution provider base by thousands of partners.

With its new VNX SMB and VNXe small business appliances, EMC is targeting a market it admits it has only dabbled in before, and plans to use multiple distributors to recruit several thousand new solution providers who could be selling the new products in as few as three hours.

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Also new for EMC are significant upgrades to its Data Domain line of dedupe appliances including its first appliance designed for archiving, a new version of its Unisphere storage management software, performance enhancements for its VMAX enterprise storage arrays, and new opportunities for solution providers to build a VMAX practice.

The new product releases and channel expansion comes at a crucial time for EMC. The company has enjoyed strong growth in its storage business, with total storage product revenue for its third fiscal quarter up by over 19 percent compared to the same period one year ago.

However, only a small part of that business has traditionally come from the SMB storage market, where EMC has very little presence outside of its Iomega product line.

That has to change, said EMC Chairman, CEO, and President Joe Tucci.

EMC has dabbled in the SMB storage market, usually with a single product to cover all the potential customers, Tucci said in an exclusive interview with CRN.

"Certainly when you look at the markets and storage without a doubt the SMB is a very significant market," he said. "And without a doubt it has got the fastest growth rate. So to me those are the exciting two pieces. It is a huge market, whether it is another 25 or 30 percent potentially. Something in that order probably, potentially, where we haven't been. . . . When we enter a market we try to become No. 1. That would be significant for EMC."

EMC is trying for No. 1 with its new VNX family of storage appliances. The VNX family is the first complete SMB and midrange line from EMC to feature unified storage, in which block (SAN), file (NAS), and direct-attach storage can be done with a single array.

At the entry-level is the VNXe line, which scales to up to 120 20TB nearline SAS hard drives, said Eric Herzog, vice president of product management and product marketing for the vendor.

The VNXe appliances can be configured with SSDs for extra performance, and come with an iSCSI host. List price starts at under $10,000, which includes six hard drives, EMC's Unisphere management software, file-based dedupe, snap shot capabilities, and support for CIFS, NFS, and iSCSI storage, Herzog said.



Next: VNX, VNXe To The Channel

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