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EMC, Dell unveil lower-cost storage

update The Clariion CX200, a modestly priced network storage system for businesses, is the first product to emerge from the companies' partnership that is manufactured by Dell.

update EMC on Monday celebrated an anniversary with Dell Computer with the unveiling of a new, less-expensive network storage system.

The company marked the close of its first year of a partnership with Dell by launching the Clariion CX200.

As expected, the CX200 storage system will hold more than 2 terabytes of data. But it will start at $30,000--about half the price of EMC's 4.4-terabyte Clariion CX400 system, announced earlier this month.

EMC, Dell and a several other companies will sell the new system. But where the new CX200 creates a new, lower-cost option for companies looking to store their data, it represents an even bigger milestone for EMC and Dell.

Under the new agreement, the CX200 will be the first product of the EMC-Dell partnership that is manufactured by the Round Rock, Texas-based PC maker. Dell, which will build the systems in the United States, Ireland and Malaysia, had previously only sold EMC-manufactured equipment, such as the CX400 system, under the agreement.

"We think (the CX200) is going to be a great place to start...and work together on improving costs," said Dell President Kevin Rollins during a conference call.

The two companies also plan to purchase hardware components together, to find lower prices for items such as hard drives. The combination of manufacturing and procurement efficiencies helped Dell and EMC set a low price on the CX200, the companies said.

EMC will continue to manufacture CX600 and CX400 storage systems for the venture, while continuing to build CX200 systems for its own customers, company representatives said. EMC will receive a licensing fee on systems that Dell makes.

"We're pleased with the first year and looking forward to great things," EMC Chief Executive Joe Tucci said.

Dell currently sells about one third of all of EMC's Clariion systems, while EMC sells another third on its own. EMC sales partners contribute to the balance of systems sold, Tucci said.

EMC hopes Dell will help boost its share in the low- to midrange network storage business. Dell aims to offer more complete server and storage products to corporate customers through the venture.

The two companies reached the agreement--which includes joint product development, sales and component manufacturing--a year ago this week. The companies are just one year into the five-year pact, yet don't plan on getting any more cozy than they are now.

"We're not interested in buying EMC, and we don't think EMC is interested in being sold," Rollins said during the conference call. However, the companies may plan to collaborate on more products in the future.

Customers this week will be able to order the new Clariion CX200 system, which will begin shipping in early December, EMC said.