EMC Corp.‘s latest refresh of its Clariion line of network storage systems is all about meeting the on-going appetite end users have for data.

In IDC’s latest report on the worldwide storage market, the research firm forecasts that storage

vendors will enjoy a revenue spike of about US$4 billion by 2009. Of that revenue, more than half will be on commodity drives.

Which might be one of the reasons why the new Clariion models, consisting of CX300s, CX500s and CX700s, include UltraPoint technology. It enables users to scale the Clariion system by installing higher-capacity disk drives.

UltraPoint is part of Clariion’s Flare operating system. With it, users can use point-to-point disk array enclosures and new drive-level fault detection, isolation and diagnosis capability within UltraPoint to scale the network storage system. According to Barry Aber, senior director of Clariion platforms marketing for EMC, the company is rolling out the Flare upgrade with UltraPoint via download on EMC’s Web site and through authorized partners.

“UltraPoint Flare OS for the Clariion gives customers the ability to resolve disk problems quicker,” Ader said.

Aber gave this anology to explain UltraPoint: A telephone operator handling 20 different lines now has the ability to mute 19 lines and deal with a problem caller.

Howard Goldberg, president and CEO of Skydata, a Mississauga, Ont.-based distributor of EMC products, said this rollout of Clariions is more evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

“It validates the claim we’ve been making for some time that Clariion is a mid-range market leader.””

Goldberg did like the upgrade of Flare with UltraPoint saying that it will improve local back up and remote disaster recovery.

Another major feature of the new Clariions is its Virtual LUN technology. Virtual LUN enables users to move data without interrupting any applications, Ader said. Virtual LUN also enables users to move data to Fibre Channel or ATA-based disks within the array.

“Customers want tiered storage in the Clariion and over two years it had the capability to mix Fibre Channel and ATA drives. With this, customers can move data as the value of that data changes. They can put critical data on a new disk drive and move it without interrupting any applications,” he said.

Ader added that this new line will give EMC partners more opportunity to add value beyond selling the box by providing back up and recovery/business continuity services.

EMC does not publicly state margins on its products.

Goldberg said many of the new enhancements are effectively free to VARs.

“The new CX’s with UltraPoint technology will cost no more than existing CX’s. VARs should be able to leverage this new capability and enhance their profitability,” he said.

EMC also released four new disk libraries. The latest models, DL310, DL710, DL720 and DL740, can scale to 348TB of capacity.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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