EMC tackles NT, adds Fibre Channel
By Dave Simpson
Following its mission to consolidate storage across disparate platforms, EMC last month introduced a number of products aimed at the high end of the Windows NT storage market. Examples include Fibre Channel connectivity on its Symmetrix Enterprise Storage arrays (EMC already supports Fibre Channel for HP and Sun Unix platforms), support for NT in the Symmetrix Manager for Open Systems software, and compatibility with Microsoft Cluster Services (MSCS).
For NT, Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX, EMC added host-resident PowerPath software, which provides load balancing and path failover (see figure). PowerPath automatically distributes traffic across all available data paths (up to 32 on Symmetrix arrays).
Analysts say the new additions give EMC a strong foothold in the emerging enterprise-level NT storage market, but they note that, for IT managers, this level of storage won`t come inexpensively. The Fibre Channel director is priced at $35,000. PowerPath costs $9,500 to $43,000, depending on the platform, and NT support for Symmetrix Manager for Open Systems is priced at $15,000.
EMC is addressing the trend toward storage consolidation in the NT, Unix, and OS/390 markets. According to a survey conducted by Find/SVP, 41% of mainframe sites have already begun consolidating NT and Unix data with mainframe data.
The Gartner Group consulting firm in Stamford, CT, estimates that NT will support 80% of all applications by next year. And the Yankee Group consulting firm in Boston, predicts that NT will achieve parity with Unix as a mission-critical platform within 18 to 24 months.
Also last month, EMC set up a consulting and integration services unit to assist end-users in implementing hetero-geneous enterprise storage solutions. Separately, EMC and Silicon Graphics Inc. announced an OEM agreement that allows SGI to resell Symmetrix arrays for its Origin and Onyx2 servers. Hewlett-Packard also OEMs Symmetrix subsystems.