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EMC, Dell Aim Low with CX200

Looking to develop a presence in the lucrative low-end computer storage market, Mass.-based EMC Corp. on Monday unveiled the CLARiiON CX200 network storage system, a new device co-designed and built in partnership with Dell Computer .

An announcement from EMC made no mention of Dell's involvement in the CX200 system which touts the "entry-level price point" but published reports say the launch of the product is an extension of a one-year-old partnership between the two companies.

Officials from EMC and Dell are expected to shed light on the partnership in a Monday afternoon conference call and sources say the Austin, TX-based Dell will highlight plans to move deeper into the storage business by targeting low-end clients.

The original deal announced last October called for Dell to be the number one reseller of EMC's CLARiiON product line. CLARiiON is Dell's standard offering for storage area networks (SAN) and high-end network-attached storage (NAS) installations.

Now, the two companies are turning to the low-priced, low-end market to stave off competition from rivals. The $30,000 CLARiiON CX200 system, which can scale to more than 2 trillion bits in capacity, supports Windows 2000, NT, Linux and Novell Netware environments. The CX200 delivers 25,000 I/Os per second of throughput and 200 megabytes per second of bandwidth in cached environments, EMC said.

It is the third storage product coming out of the EMC/Dell partnership and it shares the same architecture, components, management software and FLARE operating environment with the other two high-end systems -- CLARiiON CX600 and CLARiiON CX400.

It said the CLARiiON CX200 product would be sold primarily through Dell and other partners like Fujitsu-Siemens, Comparex, Unisys, Stratus, Arrow Electronics Inc. and Bell Micro/Ideal.

"The CX200 brings customers even greater value from simple, automated and open management through products such as PowerPath channel failover and intelligent path management as well as the EMC ControlCenter family of applications like Navisphere and StorageScope," the company said.

For Dell, the expanded deal signals its continued push into the storage space, which was highlighted earlier this month with the rollout of a storage device for the enterprise market.

Dell's new network storage system aimed at business continuance was aimed at helping technology systems maintain operations through power outages, technology failures, human error and natural disasters.

The Dell EMC CX400 is a 2Gbps Fibre Channel array storage device featuring data protection features, and is being hailed as an "ideal platform" for multimedia and video streaming, Microsoft Exchange clustering, medium-sized Oracle and SQL databases, for storage area network (SAN) and direct-attach storage environments.

Dell and EMC have designed the CX200 to provide an upgrade path through the higher-end systems. As application or consolidation requirements expand, the company said clients easily upgrade, through a storage processor swap, with data-in-place, to the CX400 or CX600 networked storage systems.

EMC also announced tailored versions of its Navisphere and PowerPath software suited for CX200 requirements.