EMC fights back with new architecture

EMC is expected to announce next week a long-awaited overhaul of its high-end products as it moves to narrow the performance gap with rivals in the storage market.

Monday's launch of EMC's Symmetrix 6 line, which releases a new internal architecture, is seen as a critical step in the company's efforts to regain lost ground in the high end of the market.

While the Hopkinton, Mass.-based storage maker was able to post better-than-expected financial results last quarter, analysts said most of those gains were due to cost cuts and strong sales of its midrange line of storage gear.

"Although it is about a year late, Symm 6 is important both for resuscitating (EMC's) mainstay product line as well as for its impact on other revenue lines," Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich said in a research note last week. Milunovich noted that EMC's total market share dropped from 13 percent to 11 percent in the third quarter of last year.

One of the technical highlights of the Symmetrix 6 line is expected to be a new "matrix" architecture, designed to increase the speed of information traveling between internal components of the storage system, according to Milunovich and others familiar with the company's plans. The new products are also expected to offer higher amounts of cache memory and to reflect a switch from RAID-1 technology to a newer RAID-5 approach, which lets data be stored "redundantly"--or in more than one place for backup purposes--but reduces the amount of disk space devoted to protecting data.

News source: c|net

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