Is EMC Set to Unleash ‘Tigon’?

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EMC (NYSE: EMC) has been taking out ads and sending e-mails to promote an April 14 online event cryptically titled, “Overtake the Future.”

“Only one approach can take you to the virtual data center of the future,” say the ads, which take users to a Web site to register for the event.

The site says the event will be on “the evolution of the virtual data center, storage requirements for the next decade, and new EMC capabilities that enable you to bridge the divide between physical and virtual environments.”

Analysts are equally cryptic about what EMC is up to, as most appear to be under non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and not saying much.

Greg Schulz, senior analyst and founder of StorageIO, says of the event, “There’s been a lot of chatter and speculation, perhaps you could say not even a secret. However, with NDAs and embargos in place, let’s just say that EMC is due by their own historical product schedule pattern for some type of spring product platform (e.g., storage system) announcement, and it is spring already.”

One analyst who seems to be not under NDA and making an educated guess is Aaron Rakers of Stifel Nicolaus, who said in a research note that he thinks EMC will announce a new high-end Symmetrix array, the DMX-5, codenamed “Tigon.”

“This event is being touted as being a landmark announcement, which revolves around EMC’s virtual data center (and we believe evolving cloud) strategy,” Rakers wrote. “This leads us to believe that this is likely the ‘DMX-5’ announcement. While details are limited, we believe EMC’s new high-end arrays could expand the company’s push of SSDs into enterprise applications (a potential STEC positive), as well as tie into the company’s internal/external cloud strategy.”

Rakers said he expects EMC to continue to tie its storage and data management strategy in with VMware’s (NYSE: VMW) virtual strategy (with the new vSphere, the next-generation Virtual Infrastructure) and Cisco’s (NASDAQ: CSCO) push toward network convergence.

EMC CEO Joe Tucci said on the company’s January conference call that a new Symmetrix is in the works.

“We would be interested to see if the new systems employ any meaningful architectural refreshes/enhancements — potentially in the area of providing a scale-out architecture for cloud computing,” Rakers wrote.

Rakers said he expects high-end enhancements from EMC competitor HDS later this year, followed by “a potential architectural refresh in 2010. We continue to believe that IBM is falling further and further behind in the high-end market, with recent industry checks providing no definitive evidence that a high-end refresh is on the horizon.”

One more clue as to what the event is about: EMC’s initial URL for the event, which has since been taken down, included the term “tigon.”

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Paul Shread
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, 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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