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EMC Embraces Storage Over IP

New Clariion systems show that EMC recognizes that iSCSI isn't a fad that's going away.
In a departure from its mainstream business of selling storage systems that operate over the high-performance Fibre Channel interface, EMC today unveiled midrange and low-cost storage systems that operate over the IP protocol. EMC's new line of Clariion storage systems provide native iSCSI (Internet small computer system interface) support.

The iSCSI interface converts blocks of data into a form that won't choke existing IP networks. The new systems could interface directly to direct-attached storage or connect two or more Fibre Channel-based SANs over long distances. The Clariion AX100i, Clariion CX300i and Clariion CX500i models are available now and pricing starts at $5,995. The AX100i is based on low-cost, serial ATA disk drives. The other two systems could operate with a mix of the low-cost drives and high performance Fibre Channel drives.

An industry analyst doesn't think EMC is at all late with its support for iSCSI. "It's perfect timing for EMC because iSCSI is just going into early mainstream status," says Tony Asaro, an analyst and lab director at the Enterprise Strategy Group. "Only recently could we even say that iSCSI wasn't a fad and wasn't going away."