Intel To Resell EMC

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Intel made a big move into the storage market this week with an agreement to resell EMC storage systems.

Intel has in the past sold basic “white box” storage appliances, but the deal with enterprise storage leader EMC is a much bigger commitment for the chip giant, and it also means new competition for long-time EMC partner Dell. Intel and EMC will team to offer systems aimed at the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) market.

The Intel offering is a networked storage system based on EMC’s Clariion AX150 that will be sold to Intel resellers and distributors worldwide.

Under the OEM agreement, resellers will be able to sell the systems under their own private brands and labels. Intel said it has more than 160,000 distributors and resellers worldwide.

The Intel SSR212PP Storage System is expected to be available beginning in May. The system features up to 12 serial ATA II (SATAII) disk drives in a 2U rack mountable enclosure and can support a maximum capacity of six terabytes in a single array.

While pricing is up to the dealer, Intel officials said a base configuration should cost under $6,000.

The storage system can be configured for either iSCSI or Fibre Channel for flexible direct attached storage (DAS) or storage area network (SAN) connectivity. A choice of single- or dual-controller configurations will be available, along with redundant power and cooling functionality.

Despite the power of the two brands, the companies said their strategy is to emphasize the local brand name of the reseller.

“Some people call these white boxes,” said Hans Geyer, vice president and general manager of Intel’s storage group.

“What’s important is that they be branded by the reseller because they have the customer relationship and want to demonstrate they can provide a complete solution.”

While available in the U.S., Intel and EMC said they will emphasize the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, Eastern Europe and other emerging markets where Intel also has an established distributor network.

“More than 30 percent of our channel revenue comes from those markets outside the U.S.,” said Geyer.

EMC is looking to expand the reach of its storage technology to growing companies that may well migrate to higher-end EMC systems over time.

“The SMB market is growing at two-and-a-half times the enterprise space. We see a large and growing opportunity,” said Mitch Breen, senior VP of global channels at EMC.

Intel said it will look to EMC to help it define future silicon requirements for future storage systems. Conversely, Intel will give EMC feedback from its channel partners on what they are looking for in future storage systems.

“We think it’s an ideal marriage,” said Geyer. “You have technology from EMC that’s been tested in enterprise environments combined with Intel training and support the channel is used to.”

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