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  1. Technology
February 2, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Clearly rattled by the entry of both Sun Microsystems Inc and Compaq Computer Corp into the open storage market, EMC Corp has announced a series of products and services designed to beef up its offerings in that sector. EMC has joined the race to embrace Windows NT in the enterprise by enabling users to store data in its Symmetrix disk arrays using Fibre Channel connections and is also offering new 18Gb, 3 disks for use in some of its arrays, doubling the available storage capacity. It’s won a three-year agreement from Silicon Graphics Inc which will resell Symmetrix for use with its systems and the company is also firing up a 120- strong services business to help users design and implement storage and disaster recovery solutions using what it calls EMC Storage Logic. It expects the unit to be up to 360 staff by year- end. EMC, which last week reported 1997 revenue up 29% at $2.94bn and profit up 39% at $539m – Sun sells already sells $2bn of storage to its own users – has also added support for Fibre Channel to its EMC Data Manager tape backup system enabling users to backup data from Symmetrix arrays. Additionally it’s integrated EDM with its TimeFinder and SRDF software which provide back up during a system’s idle time and point-to-point wide area backup of data respectively. EMC claims 1,000 TimeFinder and 2,000 SRDF licencees. EDM includes a CPU, tape library and devices and costs from $280,000. New load balancing and failover software for individual systems called PowerPath is now available supporting Solaris, with NT, AIX and HP-UX support due within 90 days. PowerPath costs from $10,000 to $43,000 and is claimed to redirect a failed datapath to another of the 32 available on a single Symmetrix system. The Fibre Channel connector is priced from $35,000. EMC’s also added support for Microsoft Cluster Services for NT 4.0 (Wolfpack), and NT is also now supported in EMC’s Symmetrix Manager for open systems. It’s also added support for online Oracle backups from AIX systems.

Growth fuel

As disk storage becomes increasingly commoditized and available from multiple vendors, EMC plans to differentiate itself by developing new software which is says is the key to its future, our high-octane growth fuel, according to president and CEO Michael Ruettgers. EMC described Sun’s storage strategy as a software-free approach, low-end, and still focused on the price-per-megabyte issue, while Compaq’s storage products, it claims only support one platform at a time. Although EMC missed its goal of $200m revenue from software in 1997 by some $23m-odd – blamed on some fourth quarter shortfalls – it aims to do $400m on software in 1998. 70% of the company’s engineers are engaged on software development – in which $1bn is to be invested over the next three years. 80% of 1998’s $250m R&D budget is going to software development. Ruettgers aims to grow the overall business by more than 30% in 1998, and push revenue from international sales to 43% of its 1998 total from 37% last year. Revenue from open systems storage rose to $1.5bn in 1997 from $700m in 1996. Ruettgers says 33% of the company’s storage systems shipped loaded with additional EMC software compared with 23% in 1996. EMC systems accounted for 50% of the disk storage capacity shipped in 1997, which Meta Group says was 3,400 terabytes. IBM had 27%, Hitachi 19% and Amdahl 4%. EMC held 27.1% of the $10.2bn mainframe and enterprise storage market in 1997 according to Dataquest. EMC claims it will be able to address a market for storage products worth $35bn by 2001: $14bn traditional multi- platform; $7bn Unix and NT systems consolidation; $5bn PC consolidation; and $9bn software. Meta Group reckons the new features in Hitachi’s 7700 mainframe disk drives and 6700 open systems offering have shortened rival EMC’s technology lead to between six and nine months. Amdahl and IBM are both 15 to 18 months behind EMC and HDS in the function race, it says (CI No 3,194).

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