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EMC expands CLARiiON line to midsized businesses

EMC has added a new storage product to its CLARiiON line that will help midsized businesses more cost effectively consolidate, backup, archive and recover data.

EMC Corp. is expanding its CLARiiON line of storage products with a version designed for midsized businesses. The new edition makes storage tasks such as consolidation of data, disaster recovery and data backup and archiving available in a cost-effective way.

Available this week with a list price of $27,000, CLARiiON CX3-10 carries 4 Gbps connectivity, has 64 hosts, four Fibre Channel host ports, four iSCSI ports and can scale up to 30 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity.

The CX3-10 also uses EMC's Navisphere Task Bar, an administration tool to manage, monitor and configure storage solutions. For VARs installing the system in an EMC environment, the product allows for remote replication using software that EMC acquired when it bought Kashya last May. The replication software, now named RecoverPoint/SE, enables remote replication between any two CLARiiON CX or CX3 series arrays.

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The product is designed to help consolidate servers with direct-attached storage (DAS) into a single array, using iSCSI as a connector, according to Pete Koliopoulos, vice president, global channel marketing.

EMC partners offering this product to their customers will have a competitive advantage not only because of the low price, but also because the CX3-10 offers both iSCSI and Fibre Channel in a single array, according to Mike Strain, director of storage at Overland Park, Kan.-based integrator of Alexander Open Systems.

"There are those high-access databases and maybe high-access exchange environments at midsized businesses that are going to require Fibre Channel, but probably 80% of every host in the small to midsized (SMB) business space is just fine to connect with the iSCSI," Strain said.

Strain also said the CX3-10 offers opportunities for his company to provide additional services, such as offering onsite replacement of disks and consulting services around the advantages of replication at the network layer.

"The CX3-10 gives us a broader scope to approach our SMB customers and to provide them with a replication solution regardless of their network infrastructure," Strain said.

The remote replication function shows that EMC is finally seeing the benefits of its acquisitions, according to Forrester Research Inc. storage analyst Andrew Reichman.

"It seems EMC is taking their product line toward integration with the acquisitions they've made, which is not surprising," Reichman said.

Reichman also likes the flexibility of iSCSI and Fibre Channel together on the same array, which will give customers who have adopted Fibre Channel a way to easily transition to iSCSI implementation if they want to. However, EMC is behind the curve in providing such features in their arrays.

"NetApp is in the lead with that. NetApp allows you to do Fibre Channel, iSCSI and NAS in the same box and they've had that for a while now. To me the CX3-10 supporting iSCSI and Fibre Channel together in the same box is playing catch-up to NetApp," Reichman added.

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