EMC to Resell ADIC Tape

Analyst Day announcement unveils joint resale agreement, though EMC maintains disk stance UPDATED 2PM

June 11, 2004

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

NEW YORK -- EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) announced a long-anticipated agreement with Advanced Digital Information Corp. (Nasdaq: ADIC), at its Analyst Day here this morning, signaling EMC's first serious foray into the tape storage market (see EMC Uses ADIC's Tape).

But EMC isn't backing down, at least publicly, from its accustomed stance on tape storage. "All recovery will be disk-based," said CEO Joe Tucci today, referring to what EMC believes organizations will use for backup and recovery. He and other execs at the event made it clear EMC still considers tape backup to be strictly for non-active archiving and off-site vaulting.

Speculation has been building around this announcement for awhile, fueled by hints from Tucci (see EMC Zips Lips on Tape). Sources say it could be material to EMC's revenues and have an impact on the tape storage market in general, though EMC won't comment on that.

The agreement is the first in which EMC will resell tape libraries from another firm. Up to now, EMC has had an agreement to sell tape libraries from Quantum Corp. (NYSE: DSS), but only as part of its EMC Data Manager. "We only sold Quantum tape backup if a customer wanted it as part of EDM," says an EMC spokesman.

EMC now can sell customers ADIC's Scalar tape libraries as is, with 24 cartridges to several hundred. In turn, ADIC has announced it's reselling EMC Clariion CX systems as the disk portion of its Pathlight VX virtual tape product, which uses ATA disk as well as tape to perform backups. That product has been touted as expanding ADIC's horizons, given the doldrums in the tape market (see ADIC Banks on Disk).The news has prompted at least three competitors to issue statements. Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK), sent out media statements citing their early support of tape and EMC's rejection of it up 'til now.

Thank you EMC – you have now endorsed our strategy of classifying, managing and moving information across a foundation of tiered storage based upon its purpose and value – which we call enterprise information lifecycle management. With this announcement, EMC recognizes that tape is an essential element to this strategy," said Mark Ward, StorageTek vice president and general manager, Information Lifecycle Management Solutions Group.

You still won't get EMC to admit that. Tucci couldn't resist taking a last dig at tape during the Q&A with analysts. When asked why EMC didn't acquire ADIC as it did with Legato, Documentum, and VMWare last year, Tucci said tape "is not going to be a growing market. If we did that [bought ADIC] I'd have a rebellion in my head, and I couldn't handle that."

— Mary Jander, Site Editor, and Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox
More Insights