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EMC Counters 'Whistleblower' Claims

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is refuting claims of an employee who alleges his bosses told him to cover up a chip failure in Symmetrix products.

EMC spokeswoman Anne Pace says claims by plaintiff Jack Wade, detailed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper last week, are "baseless" and "not credible." She says EMC is confident that Wade's suit will ultimately prove to be without merit.

Actually, news of the Symmetrix "chip meltdown" isn't new. Byte and Switch approached EMC last June about rumors that certain Symmetrix systems had been affected by faulty parts (see News From the SAN Shoals). At the time, EMC acknowleged there had been a problem affecting a "limited batch" of Symmetrix 8000s that are now several years old.

EMC spokesman Mark Frederickson wouldn't be specific at the time, but he conceded the problem surfaced in SCSI components from an unspecified supplier in certain Symmetrix systems (not DMX ones) after extensive use. He also told us EMC had proactively contacted customers who might be affected and swapped in new components as needed. The problem, he said, was "largely behind" EMC.

What's new here is the employee's claim, outlined in the newspaper report, that EMC allegedly knew the chips in some Symmetrix systems were faulty and tried to cover the problem up, sometimes by telling customers they were due for an upgrade, then quietly switching chips without detailing the problem.

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