EMC plans midtier storage push

The storage maker is set to refresh its midrange line with new products that could go as low as $5,000, according to a company executive.

2 min read
SINGAPORE--Storage maker EMC is set to refresh its midrange line with new products that could go as low as $5,000, according to a company executive.

The Hopkinton, Mass.-based company markets network storage hardware aimed at medium-size companies under its Clariion CX product line. The most basic configuration of the CX200--the least expensive of EMC's existing midtier products--costs around $10,000.

"We'll have products later this year that go even further downstream--about half of that," Steven Fitz, EMC's president for the Asia-Pacific region and Japan, said in an interview here.

The company sells its midrange series directly, as well as through partners like Dell. In Asia, the company recently signed a similar agreement with Samsung. Under the pact, the electronics giant will resell EMC's CX machines in Korea under the Samsung brand name, Fitz said in an interview in Singapore.

More such alliances are needed if the company is to expand its foothold in the cutthroat midrange storage market, Fitz said. Besides EMC, other storage giants like IBM and Hewlett-Packard are also vying for a share of the spoils, turning this segment into a low-margin battlefield.

"Our challenge and opportunity is really to find more partners to help us reach that market," said Fitz, who works out of Hong Kong.

Industry watchers echoed his view. "EMC is a major provider of storage in Asia-Pacific, but EMC only derives 10 percent to 15 percent of their storage hardware revenue from Clariion-based products," said Phil Sargeant, a Gartner research director for servers and storage. "IBM and HP actually sell more midrange storage than EMC."

To bolster its impending low-end storage charge, Leong Chee-Ming, IDC Asia-Pacific's senior research manager for enterprise storage, said EMC could again enlist the help of longtime ally Dell.

"A lower price point would be attractive to small and medium-size companies," Leong said. "However, the lower price point, and thus lower margin, for the lower-than-CX200 product would make it a more economically suitable for EMC's partners like Dell to distribute."

Winston Chai of CNETAsia reported from Singapore.