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EMC Challenges NetApp NAS

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is taking a run at Network Appliance Inc.s (Nasdaq: NTAP) midrange NAS by offering price and certain performance enhancements, although it still lacks a key piece that simplifies file management.

EMC is launching configurations at each end of the midrange -- the low-end Celerra NS500 and high-end Celerra NS704G. And it announced support for iSCSI in its upgraded DART operating system.

The low-end system also competes with the IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) NAS 500 Gateway announced last week, but EMC’s real target is NAS market leader Network Appliance (see IBM Turns a New NAS Leaf – Again).

EMC has priced its systems below NetApp’s and claims a strong performance advantage, but NetApp and EMC have skirmished over each other’s performance claims in the past, and smart users are skeptical of published results (see NetApp, EMC in Benchmark Brawl).

Although NetApp still has the NAS lead, according to market research firm IDC, EMC says it is gaining momentum (see NetApp Touts IDC Figures). EMC senior director of NAS, Tom Joyce, claims EMC’s NAS revenue last quarter climbed 16 percent from the previous quarter and 40 percent year over year. One reason for the growth is customers are increasingly connecting NAS gateways to EMC’s Clariion and Symmetrix arrays.

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