Storage

EMC Targets SMBs With New Low-end Storage

EMC is targeting small businesses and branch offices with a new low-end Celerra storage product.

The Celerra NX4, which can be deployed in networked-attached storage, iSCSI, or Fibre Channel storage-area network systems, is ideal for consolidating distributed file servers and storage into a single platform, EMC says. Highlights include thin provisioning, snapshot technology for data recovery and backups, and a Web-based console that automates management of storage volumes.

NX4 offers a wider choice of networks and systems than most competing products targeted at small and midsize businesses, such as those from NetApp, Dell and HP, says Charles King of the Pund-IT analyst firm. But EMC is still trying to build a reputation as a vendor for sSMBs, he says. (Compare storage products.) 

"This is a product that would work well for a lot of small and medium-sized businesses, but those are not the type of businesses who think about EMC as the vendor of choice," King says. "It takes time to grow name recognition."

EMC says the NX4 will compete against NetApp's FAS2020A system.  

With SAS and SATA drives, EMC's NX4 provides from 4TB to 60TB of storage. Pricing starts at $20,375. Previously, EMC's lowest-end Celerra system was the NS20, which costs at least $32,000. In a related move, EMC is increasing the capacity of NS20 from 60TB to 90TB.

Based on EMC's Clariion storage, the NX4 system can support Microsoft, Unix and Linux server operating systems, as well as VMware deployments. Applications including Microsoft Exchange and the SQL Server and Oracle databases can also be supported by the new low-end storage system.

Simplified management tools on the NX4 include Startup Assistant software that lets storage pros power up and configure a storage system in 15 minutes, EMC says.

A second tool, the Web-based Celerra Manager software, "makes system administration simple and intuitive with easy-to-use wizards and automated volume management, enabling administrators to provision a file system in just four mouse clicks," EMC says.

With support for SAS and the lower-priced SATA drives, EMC says NX4 lets IT shops offer tiers of storage based on factors like cost, efficiency and performance.

EMC has been trying to make inroads into the SMB market for a few years now, King notes. Prior moves on that front include EMC offering the MozyEnterprise online storage service, and EMC's April purchase of data backup and storage device maker Iomega.

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