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EMC adds options to midrange storage

The company announces lower-cost options in its midrange storage line--part of its effort to win over business customers that still rely on tape drives to back up files.

EMC announced on Monday lower-cost options in its midrange storage line--part of its effort to win over business customers that still rely on tape drives to back up files.

The storage giant announced two new options for its CX200 model, the low-end member of the company's midrange line. One of the new options is to buy a system with one Fibre Channel controller instead of two. Doing so brings the cost of an entry-level system to as low as $10,000. But customers lose some performance, as well as the benefit that, if one controller failed, a second would be available to handle the work.

EMC also said it is allowing customers the option to use cheaper Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) drives in the dual-controller CX 200 systems. Companies can mix and match drives, meaning they can use the faster Fibre Channel drives for transaction processing while backing up the data to ATA drives. EMC began offering an ATA option on the higher-end CX400 and CX600 systems in March.

"A lot of smaller businesses and departments want access to CX technology," said EMC spokesman Justin Bartinoski. For many tasks, he said, companies don't need (or want to pay for) the benefits of a second controller.

When the CX200 debuted in October, it had list prices starting at $25,000. Those who opt for a single controller model can also later add a second controller, EMC said. EMC sells the CX series directly as well as through other retailers, most notably Dell Computer.

In addition to the cost-saving moves, EMC said it has made enhancements to its management software to make future software upgrades easier to manage.