EMC delivers NetWin 200 with Microsoft

EMC has teamed up with Microsoft to deliver a Windows powered NAS solution. The EMC NetWin 200, which will be available from Q3 onwards, combines Windows technology with EMC’s CLARiiON networked storage platform.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  May 25, 2003

|~||~||~|EMC has teamed up with Microsoft to deliver a Windows powered network attached storage (NAS) solution. The EMC NetWin 200, which will be available from Q3 onwards, combines Windows technology with EMC’s CLARiiON networked storage platform.

By integrating CLARiiON’s functionality with Windows powered NAS, the NetWin 200 systems will improve integrated storage array management and allow users to simplify administration by using a single console. It also promises to deliver an attractive price/performance entry point for NAS customers running data in a Windows environment and, with list prices for the product starting at US$50,000, the NetWin 200 is aimed squarely at small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs).

“With the introduction of NetWin, EMC can now offer customers the broadest, most scalable family of NAS offerings in the industry — providing consistent management, powerful file distribution capabilities and Microsoft Windows compatibility from the entry level Windows powered NAS family scaling up to our market-leading Celerra family,” says David Donatelli, EMC’s executive vice president of platform operations.

Despite the availability of other Windows powered NAS boxes from the likes of HP, the analyst community has heartily endorsed EMC and Microsoft’s offspring. For example, IDC’s research director for storage software, Bill North, says it represents a breakthrough in the management of network attached storage.

“Now EMC and Microsoft customers will be able to use a single, integrated console to manage all their storage, rather than having to launch separate tools to manage the NAS and disk array functions… This means the entire storage solution should be easier to deploy and manage,” he explains.

The introduction of the NetWin 200 should be a boon for both vendors. Not only does it provide EMC with a convincing SMB story as it looks to expand beyond its high end stronghold, but it also fleshes out Microsoft’s fledgling storage initiative.

“The use of NAS has increased dramatically, especially as enterprises like to put non-critical applications on it. This announcement with Microsoft boosts our credentials as leaders in this field. Furthermore, Microsoft’s installed base will be a big thing for us,” says Mohammed Amin, regional general manager, EMC Middle East.

“Partnering with EMC, which is a key player in the storage industry, will really help us grow our share of the storage market and help us penetrate and create more markets,” adds Haider Salloum, marketing manager, Microsoft South Gulf.

Locally, the NetWin 200 should prove even more of a winner. Not only is the Middle East’s corporate demographic dominated by SMBs, but Microsoft also has a massive installed base on which the partners can build.

“A lot of local companies will go for this [the NetWin 200] because, on the whole, more companies in the region are thinking about storage. Everybody is working on their storage because the amount of data they have is growing and the product will have a horizontal appeal across all industries,” says Salloum.

However, to achieve this success, the two vendors will have to localise the global agreement to ensure it appeals to Middle East businesses. Amin is well aware of this and explains that “corporate agreements are very good at providing an outline, but it is up to people operating in the region to ensure that it works for the local market. This is especially true in the Middle East, which means we will be working closely with Microsoft in the local market.”

Moving forward at an international level, the two companies will work to deliver full Windows compatibility across EMC’s entire NAS family through the expansion of its existing licensing agreement. This will see, among other things, the integration of Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 storage APIs with EMC’s storage platform functionality, and the enhancement of protocol interoperability between EMC’s storage devices and Windows client PCs.

“In the future, we [Microsoft] will be providing the hooks to take advantage of more hardware capabilities and they [EMC] will develop more hooks to take advantage of our software capabilities,” says Salloum. ||**||

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