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EMC Warms to All

NEW YORK -- EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), known for its aggressive marketing, is turning a kinder, gentler face to the industry these days -- as Byte and Switch learned when we caught up with director of technology analysis Ken Steinhardt at the Storage Decisions conference here this week.

Judging by Steinhardt's comments, EMC's open to change and cooperation, countering past accusations of arrogance about its product direction (see EMC Earnings Up). The company is supporting competing SAN technologies; making some changes in how it views its own product lines; declining to criticize technologies such as tape backup that once drew guffaws; and taking a no-nonsense approach to standards. Here's a sampling of what Steinhardt had to say on some of these topics:

On the growth of Ethernet versus Fibre Channel: "We see both Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel as continuing. We've never been one to choose one over the other... The differences are more application-dependent... I see most enterprises deploying both."

On blurring boundaries between Clariion (midrange) and Symmetrix (high end) product lines: "It used to be that capacity was the greatest differentiator. Now the main difference is in service-level requirements, performance levels... Customers who want to be resilient to multiple failures would pick Symmetrix... We'll continue fully with both lines, looking for chances to offer optimization and specialization."

On iSCSI: "Symmetrix does native iSCSI. A native iSCSI for Clariion will happen."

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