EMC Tuesday unveiled a multiyear agreement with Intel to resell its latest low-end storage array through Intel's massive cadre of value-added resellers (VARs). The two companies also announced at Storage Networking World in San Diego that they've signed an expanded technology agreement.
Intel calls the rebranded array, which is based on EMC Clariion AX150 and AX150i arrays, the SSR212PP Storage System. It is expected to be available from Intel's worldwide channel partners beginning in May.
The array holds up to 12 serial ATA II (SATA II) disk drives in a 2U (3.5-inch) rack mountable enclosure that scales to 6TB, and it comes in a single- or dual-controller configuration with redundant power and cooling fans. It is available with iSCSI or Fibre Channel connectivity.
Harry Hoang, a storage practice manager with Helio Solutions, a VAR in Santa Clara, Calif., said that because most customers already purchase from resellers, the deal will quickly improve EMC's reach into the low-end market.
Oliver Fischer-Samano, IT director for Baerlocher Productions USA in Cincinnati, said he refused to buy small storage systems from EMC in the past because its sales reps soured him on the company. "The channel wasn't the problem. They claim they want to go into that [lower-end market], but they are very arrogant," said Fischer-Samano, whose company manufactures plastic additives.
Yet, Fischer-Samano said the deal is a win for EMC, who needs Intel, its resellers and its technology.
Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst of the Enterprise Strategy Group in Mass., agreed that the deal is a huge win for EMC because it gives it expanded reach into the small-to-medium business market without really disrupting its long-standing OEM agreement with Dell.
Dell manufactures and resells EMC's midrange and low-end Clariion arrays.
"Intel has 160,000 -- for the most part-- small VARs with incredible reach around the planet, so it's a brilliant idea for EMC," Duplessie said. "Dell doesn't sell into Asia-Pacific. And, Dell doesn't even sell a lot of the AX [models]. So it extends EMC's potential reach and it's really not competitive. This is a giant, whole new channel."
EMC and Intel's expanded technology agreement means Intel will specifically enhance its processors to meet the increasing requirements of networked storage systems and help EMC to enhance its storage architectures and identify future market requirements, the companies said in a statement.
"By working with EMC to deliver standards-based storage platforms, we are bringing leading enterprise storage value and technology to Intel customers worldwide," said Hans Geyer, vice president and general manager of Intel's Storage Group.
This is not the first collaboration between Intel and EMC. Last Month, EMC, Intel and other vendors, such as Dell and LSI Logic Corp., teamed up to form a non-profit group aimed at driving standardization in low-end external storage. The Storage Bridge Bay Working Group's mission is to first develop specifications for standardizing external disk subsystems.