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EMC Takes Storage Router for a Spin

Demonstrates its virtualization software, draws fire from competition

EMC Corp.s (NYSE: EMC) anticipated virtualization software is virtually real.

Here's the skinny: The EMC Storage Router made its debut at Storage Network World here this week, but only in ballroom demonstrations (see EMC on Virtualization: Wait for Us). And while the product is running in four customer beta sites, it isn’t expected to be released before mid-2005.

EMC’s router is software that sits on an intelligent switch. For the demo, EMC used switches from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) to move a 200-Mbyte movie clip from an EMC Clariion array to a Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) EVA array. Then EMC moved the movie back using the Cisco switch.

The purpose of the demonstration was to show the router can move data from one array to another vendor’s array with no disruption and no downtime -- and it looks as if it worked. The first version of the router will not support remote replication, but EMC executives say it will be built into future versions.

When the router ships, it will support high-end storage from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), as well as HP’s midrange arrays, EMC says. It will also support intelligent switches from McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA), just as soon as those switches are ready later next year.

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