Dell Computer Corp’s well-publicized entry into the lucrative storage market (CI No 3,385), will see it marketing Data General Corp’s FC5000 Fibre Channel arrays as its PowerVault 650F line from September priced from $15,000 to $100,000. Dell will sell the systems with a new DG RAID 5-protected controller designed to optimize the number of I/O […]
Dell Computer Corp’s well-publicized entry into the lucrative storage market (CI No 3,385), will see it marketing Data General Corp’s FC5000 Fibre Channel arrays as its PowerVault 650F line from September priced from $15,000 to $100,000. Dell will sell the systems with a new DG RAID 5-protected controller designed to optimize the number of I/O transactions for OLTP and commercial processing environments. With the Dell contact finally announced, DG hopes that its Clariion storage unit’s difficult last 12 months or so is behind it. The delay in shipping I/O-centric RAID 5 controller and a RAID 3 and 5 controller designed for high-bandwidth use has hit the uptake of DG’s Clariion fibre channel storage products badly. That was part of the reason for its poor second quarter results and decision to lay off 400 employees. DG is now waiting for third parties to integrate the controllers into server, adapter and hub products. Indeed it has driven valuable OEMs such as Silicon Graphics Inc into the arms of DG’s chief storage rival EMC Corp. Although SGI is still committed to sell FC5000 systems DG admits it was 18 months late getting the product to them. That’s part of the reason DG has installed former sales chief at the helm of Clariion. It’s also waiting anxiously for Hewlett-Packard Co to straighten out its storage partnership arrangements (CI No 3,440). HP, which resells both EMC and DG systems is currently re-negotiating agreements with both vendors to have more of its own intellectual property integrated into the storage systems it sells. DG thinks it will be at least six months before any new deals are cut. It declined to say whether Dell will become its biggest Clariion customer. HP currently brings in the most money for it. DG is shipping Navisphere software with the FC5000, which is said to enable a workstation user to manage subsystems located anywhere in the world, logically organize and monitor them and notify administrators. Its next-generation fibre systems will include a much more cheaply priced offering, and a new cut of its storage software that will provide functions such as non- disruptive installation of new RAID controllers and storage operating system upgrades. Although it has talked about offering next-generation Storage Area Network technologies with shared Unix and NT data stores, DG says it won’t offer heterogeneous storage in the same box. It thinks users will want a mixture of distributed and centralized storage. The additional dollars the Clariion unit gets following DG’s recent reorganization is going straight into R&D.