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Analysts: EMC to double capacity

Bear Stearns expects the data storage giant to announce that it is doubling the capacity of a high-end storage device.

Analysts at investment firm Bear Stearns expect data storage giant EMC to announce on Wednesday that it is doubling the capacity of a high-end storage device.

Analysts Andrew Neff, Naveen Bobba and William Hand wrote this week that EMC is expected to announce a new Symmetrix DMX storage device that doubles the current maximum capacity of 42 terabytes. The analysts, who cite trade press speculation, also said EMC is expected to announce FICON connectivity for the DMX. FICON is a connection that links storage systems to mainframe computers.

Also expected, the analysts said, are new data-replication software and iSCSI support for the Symmetrix. iSCSI is an emerging standard that makes it easier for computers to share and manage stored data over Ethernet networks.

"The enhancements will clearly be positive for EMC and may have investment implications for other storage and component vendors," the analysts wrote.

EMC on Tuesday said it would comment on the predictions in the Bear Stearns report during a scheduled announcement Wednesday. A representative said the company is planning to talk about new products and features for the DMX family of storage devices.

Despite their positive preview of EMC's announcement, the Bear Stearns analysts repeated a cautious "peer perform" rating on EMC shares. "While EMC continues to have a major presence in the enterprise data center, it is faced with weak demand levels from many of its customers, handling an increased competitive environment and executing on the restructuring and other changes it is planning on," the analysts wrote.

Earlier this month, EMC said it plans to buy storage software provider Legato Systems in a stock deal valued at $1.3 billion. The Legato acquisition is the latest of a string of deals that expands EMC's portfolio of applications for managing storage systems. EMC, based in Hopkinton, Mass., bought Astrum Software in April for its storage management software.