By Kevin Komiega
Dell and EMC announced last month that they have extended the length and scope of their storage partnership, and that Dell will add EMC's Celerra NX4 NAS systems to its storage portfolio.
Praveen Asthana, Dell's director of enterprise storage products, says the partnership, which will now run through 2013, has been focused primarily on sales of the EMC Clariion product line in the SAN market. Expanding the partnership, he says, will help Dell move up in the NAS world.
"We have a strong portfolio on the SAN side, but there is an opportunity on the NAS side as our current NAS offerings are based [solely] on Windows," says Asthana.
The Dell PowerVault NX1950 and NX1950 Gateway products cur-rently occupy the high end of Dell's NAS portfolio and run the Windows Unified Data Storage Server(WUDSS) operating system. The NX1950 also supports SAN connectivity for consolidated storage.
In an effort to move upstream, the company is adding a Dell-branded version of the EMC Celerra NX4 to its product set. The NX4 is also a unified platform with NAS, iSCSI and Fibre Channel connectivity. It integrates Clariion networked storage and advanced options such as Celerra Manager, Virtual Provisioning, Automated Volume Management, and Celerra SnapSure functionality.
The NX4 is VMware-certified and isoften marketed as an entry-level, consolidated storage platform for virtual server environments.
Dell and EMC officially formed their alliance in October 2001, and it continues to grow. This year, Dell began offering the latest versions of the Clariion CX4 arrays with thin provisioning and support for solid-state disk (SSDs) drives; released a new data warehousing solution as part of their collaboration on the Oracle Optimized Warehouse initiative; and announced a joint effort to integrate a common data de-duplication architecture across Dell's storage products.