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EMC Backs Clariion Into ATA

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) today announced an ATA drive option for its Clariion family of midrange storage arrays, which the company has positioned as delivering disk-based backup that's faster than tape but less expensive than Fibre Channel drives (see EMC Offers ATA For Clariion).

But when it comes to EMC, "less expensive" is a somewhat slippery term.

To wit: The baseline pricing for the Clariion ATA system is 35 percent more if you buy it from EMC rather than Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), which is the top reseller of EMC's midrange storage offerings. EMC's list price for a 10-Tbyte Clariion with ATA: $171,000. Dell's list price for the exact same hardware and software configuration: $127,000.

What explains the difference? A Dell spokeswoman says the Dell version is "a like-to-like configuration" that includes similar hardware, software, and service options as the EMC product. EMC, though, says this is not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. "EMC prices for the direct market, where discounting practices are naturally going to be different from those that Dell will bring to the market," says EMC spokesman Dave Farmer.

As the saying goes in Hopkinton: The "C" in EMC doesn't stand for "charity." It seems clear that EMC customers should demand healthy discounts right out of the gate on the ATA-based Clariion options.

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