Using the channel, EMC and Dell will are hoping to make a big splash in the shallow end of the SME market with the launch of the EMC-designed AX100 storage array.
EMC Australia's marketing director, Clive Gold, said he believed this market was worth $100 million and that the company would be using the channel to snag a large chunk of the market as part of its 2004 goal to grow beyond the $100 million mark.
“Our background is in the enterprise,” said Gold. “We don't have a history in this part of the market, which is why the channel will be leading the charge for us.”
Although the relationship with Dell has been an undeniable success for EMC, the two companies recently announced they would be working together for another five years.
Around 60 percent of EMC Australia's sales comes through the channel. Recognising there are parts of the SMB market that it needs to build a profile, EMC will be selling the AX100 through yet-to-be-named distributors as well as long standing partners such as Tripoint, Dimension Data and Logical, and the more recently signed Commander.
EMC Australia was also looking for more channel partners as part of its sales strategy for the AX100. “We were late into the channel but we're working hard to change that,” said Gold.
Shipping under $10,000 in direct attached (SAN-ready) configuration, or under $15,000 as a complete, scalable turnkey SAN, the AX100 comes in at up to half the price of existing entry level SANs.
Badged as a Dell EMC or an EMC CLARiiON, the AX100 was designed for customer setup using bundled wizard-based software developed especially by EMC. The array is pitched directly at small companies that are outgrowing direct or network attached storage but up until now had thought SANs too expensive to buy, setup and run as well as branch offices of larger companies.
Shipping with a stripped down version of the software that runs EMC's CLARiiON CX series arrays, the AX100 can be configured as a SAN, direct attached external storage or a NAS box. In combination with the four-step wizard developed especially for the AX100, SAN implementation times have been slashed by as much as 75 percent, taking only an hour to install a typical four-host SAN configuration, said EMC's managing director marketing Asia Pacific/Japan, Tony Leung.
The AX100 includes up to two controllers and up to 12 Serial ATA drives with storage capacity starting at 480GB and scaling up to 3 terabytes. Although the arrays start at under $10,000, Gold believed the sweet spot would be under $15,000 as most customers would want the redundancy of two controllers.