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EMC, Dell Get Small With SATA

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) unveiled their SAN for SMBs today, a new -- and unconnected -- branch of the Clariion family tree.

EMC calls the new system the Clariion AX100 to distinguish it from the Clariion CX family, which EMC and Dell also co-brand. Dell doesn't even use the Clariion name for the new system. It will sell it as the Dell\EMC AX100. The distinction is for good reason: The new system uses different hardware and storage management software than other Clariions and is available only with SATA disk drives. For better or worse, rather than just scaling down the CX, EMC and Dell have built a system with a new architecture.

It’s a different set of nuts and bolts,” says Jay Krone, EMC’s director of Clariion marketing, noting that you can’t swap drives and processors between the AX100 and CX.

Put another way, “It’s sort of Clariion, but not Clariion,” says Data Mobility Group senior analyst John Webster.

EMC and Dell have talked about coming out with a Clariion for SMBs since February (see Dell & EMC Prep Low-End SAN and EMC Lets Clariion Out of the Bag). EMC CEO Joe Tucci coyly dropped the system’s code-name “Piranha” during the company’s earnings conference call with analysts last month, and last week EMC again hinted it was coming soon as a complement to its new, Windows-based, entry-level NAS system (see EMC Earnings Up and EMC Joins Rush to Windows NAS).

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