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EMC Poised To Launch Network Virtualization Product

EMC Executive Vice President Mark Lewis Wednesday told partners that the storage giant is poised to launch a turnkey storage network virtualization device during the second quarter of 2005.

The Storage Router, as it is called for now, was originally discussed almost a year ago, and is aimed at increasing storage network performance at a fraction of the cost of competitive offerings from IBM and Hitachi.

Lewis outlined the product, which will be marketed under an as yet to be named new EMC platform brand, at the storage vendor's first ever software conference in Las Vegas. He said EMC has not yet priced the product, which is currently being beta tested. The product will initially be sold through EMC's direct sales force, and will expand to the channel over time, EMC said.

Lewis described the Storage Router as a revolutionary breakthrough that puts EMC several years ahead of the competition in network virtualization. EMC is providing the software that manages the network virtualization, said Lewis, accompanied by new next generation switches from Cisco, McData and Brocade. "Together, it becomes a storage router," said Lewis. "Without our software, you have an intelligent switch that just doesn't have intelligence loaded in. And without their hardware, we have software but no place to run the software."

EMC will initially sell the product, which is aimed at the Fortune 1000 customers, through its direct sales force, said Lewis. EMC currently resells switches from Cisco, Brocade and McData under the EMC Connectrix logo. EMC is the largest supplier of switches today to corporations, said Lewis. "This isn't a change for us," he said.

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