Dell extends EMC alliance

The market for SME storage just got more competitive as Dell launches its biggest array yet, courtesy of its partnership with EMC.

The small and medium-sized market for storage is heating up again, with Dell announcing one of the biggest and most competitive storage arrays to be targeted at this space.

The Dell AX 150 with Fibre Channel support and AX 150i with iSCSI come with up to 6TB of storage capacity, making it easily the largest storage device that Dell has come up with to date. Each product will cost around £6,499 (US$11,389) , not including VAT.

The move strengthens Dell's position in a market that is being keenly fought over by the major vendors. On Monday, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) launched its "fastest midrange storage" box aimed at the SME market.

The new arranges are enhanced versions of existing Dell AX drives that are being marketed under the joint Dell/EMC name. Dell is promising the AX is an "affordable, easy-to-install storage area networking" offering. The company is hoping that the move will solidify its position as "one of the industry's fastest-growing top ten disk storage systems vendors".

"Dell is focused on driving advanced storage technology downstream, making it easier for customers to address the typical pain points occurring in their IT environments," said Mark Smith, product business manager for Dell.

With the new systems, Dell says it is offering increased power redundancy, additional iSCSI ports and enhanced snapshot software-- three areas that address key needs of SMEs. The drives use industry-standard 8.9cm SATA drives in 250GB or 500GB configurations. The 500GB drives are rapidly becoming the industry standard for datacentre storage.

Total storage capacity varies is from 750GB with three 250GB drives to 6TB with 12.

As part of this, the company repacked its software offerings and for the first time sold "shrink-wrapped" off-the-shelf solutions. These, including EMC Navisphere Express Management Suite, Power Path, SnapView Express and Configuration Wizards, are now part of the Dell offering.