EMC drops its own Windows-based NAS

EMC drops its own Windows-based NAS

EMC Wednesday said it plans to discontinue selling its line of low-end network-attached storage (NAS) arrays based on the Windows Storage Server platform. EMC's NetWin 110 and NetWin 200 will stop shipping in November because of poor sales, according to an EMC spokesman. Instead, the company will begin reselling low-end NAS products from one of its Select Program partners, which analysts said will likely be Dell Inc.

"As you know, Windows Storage Server 2003 generally runs on commodity servers. EMC, not being in the commodity server market, couldn't meet price points that customers needed," said EMC spokesman Rob Callery.

Dell sells Windows-powered NAS under its PowerVault line of commodity servers.

When EMC introduced the NetWin series of low-end NAS arrays with a starting price of US$6,100, some analysts expressed surprise because they competed with EMC's No. 1 reseller, Dell, but were also overpriced. In comparison, Dell's PowerVault 745N Windows-powered NAS array starts at US$1,799.

EMC had little choice but to sell something running Windows Storage Server software under pressure from Microsoft, according to John Webster, an analyst at Data Mobility Group. "Microsoft demanded it as a precondition to doing some other collaborative deal. But EMC had to do [it] without creating conflict with its closest partner, Dell," Webster said.

EMC avoided competing with Dell by coming up with an overpriced model for the Windows-powered NAS line, he said. "I don't think EMC ever had its heart in the game anyway, from the standpoint of Windows-powered NAS," Webster said.

Callery denied EMC went to market with its NetWin line under pressure from Microsoft.

"We think this is actually good for customers. We're going to be able to compete more effectively in that marketplace through lower costs," Callery said.

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