EMC Thinks Small

EMC on Monday rolled out a new line of storage products aimed at small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to better compete in the fastest-growing segment of the storage market.

The new products are the result of a year-long development process led by Larry Zulch, vice president and general manager of the new EMC Insignia line. Zulch began work on the project after the company he ran, SMB backup and recovery specialist Dantz, was acquired by EMC in late 2004.

The new products, Zulch said, are “not repackaging — they’re new versions re-engineered for the SMB market.” The small and mid-sized business market is the only storage market growing at double-digit rates, he said, hence EMC’s desire for a bigger slice of the pie.

The goal of the project was to come up with solutions that are easy to use and “priced right,” Zulch said. Also, it is a channel-only approach, with no role for EMC Services.

“EMC has been trying to find a way into the SMB space for some time but with little success,” said Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Heidi Biggar. “With the launch of Insignia, EMC is showing that it finally gets it — the success in the SMB space is more than about having the right technology, it’s also about pricing and establishing key partnerships with VARs.”

EMC’s relationships with Dell and Dantz have helped it to learn the needs of the SMB market, Biggar said. HP and IBM have strong SMB offerings, she said, but added that “ESG believes EMC’s line of branded packaged offerings for this space will be a key differentiator going forward.”

The new EMC Insignia line (emcinsignia.com) consists of a half-dozen products designed to help SMBs “store, manage, protect and share vital business information.”

EMC CLARiiON AX Series disk arrays offer networked storage for Fibre Channel or iSCSI starting at $5,500.

EMC Storage Administrator for Exchange SMB Edition works with the CLARiiON arrays to simplify management of Microsoft Exchange Server data, provide fast recovery from an Exchange server failure, and make migration to Exchange Server 2003 a simple process. Pricing starts at $1,995.

EMC Retrospect, the latest version of Dantz’s flagship product, helps SMBs protect servers, round-the-clock applications, desktops and notebooks with point-in-time restores, onsite and offsite media management, and encryption of backup media with AES, starting at $399-$1,449.

EMC RepliStor SMB Edition guards information against hardware failure or a site-wide disaster, with replication of data between two Windows computers locally or remotely across the Internet and maintaining a continuously updated copy. Pricing starts at $995 per node.

EMC VisualSRM SMB Edition storage resource management software presents a consolidated view of a company’s storage and hosts automated policies to manage it. Pricing starts at $995.

EMC eRoom SMB Edition collaboration software provides a browser-accessed, secure collaborative workspace for sharing information, managing projects and other uses. Pricing starts at $995 for 10 users.

CLARiiON AX100/i, Storage Administrator for Exchange SMB Edition and Retrospect are available immediately from authorized EMC resellers and EMC’s new Velocity SMB channel partners. RepliStor SMB Edition, VisualSRM SMB Edition and eRoom SMB Edition will be available later in the first quarter.

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Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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