Dell resells EMC storage

If you are like many in the federal government and buy more than your fair share of Microsoft Corp. Windows-based PCs and servers from Dell Computer Corp., then officials at the Austin, Texas, company hope you'll feel the same way about a new direction in their product lineup: midrange CLARiiON storage devices built by EMC Corp. and resold by Dell under an agreement signed late last month.

"Our customers will benefit [from the agreement] because we can now address more of their needs," said Bruce Kornfeld, director of storage product marketing in Dell's Storage System Group. "The agreement allows us [to sell products] that attach to any server in the data center, including any flavor of Unix, Linux or Windows, though not mainframes."

Before this agreement, Dell's own PowerVault line of storage products worked only with Windows-based systems, Kornfeld said. Besides supporting more operating systems, the CLARiiON products provide some other high-end features new to Dell's storage line. Those include Redundant Array of Independent Disks controllers for high availability performance and disaster recovery capabilities through remote mirroring, in which an exact copy of data is written simultaneously to a secondary storage device located off-site.

Despite the greater complexity of the CLARiiON line, at least one market analyst believes Dell has plenty of service know-how to support the products. "If Dell was carrying EMC's Symmetrix enterprise boxes, I'd have some concern," said Arun Taneja, senior analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group Inc. "But CLARiiON is not the high end where you need a dozen professional service guys to set everything up. Dell is adequately positioned to take care of CLARiiON."

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