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EMC Touts SAN Management Software, Expands Oracle Pact.

Number-one data storage systems vendor, EMC Corp, yesterday formally launched a new software architecture it said would help it claim the de facto standard for data storage management on the internet and company networks. The Hopkinson, Massachusetts-based firm made the announcement in a press briefing held to showcase the strategy and products it said would establish it as a key infrastructure provider to the internet economy.

EMC branded the launch of its new "ControlCenter" suite of software components "the most-significant storage management announcement ever." Executives said the system, some modules of which are already on the market, bridges storage and network, presenting a single-user console for customers to manage their data either locally or over the internet. The firm hopes ControlCenter will boost sales of its enterprise storage networks by improving the manageability of data stored on the networks. It is pitching the system at high-end storage network users, consolidating storage on a collection of Windows NT servers. EMC will leave the mid market for storage area networks to its Clariion Fibre Channel products inherited from the firm's acquisition of Data General Corp.

The firm said ControlCenter's Symmetrix Optimizer module offers the first-ever automated management feature for the storage infrastructure, detecting, diagnosing and correcting problems as they arise, and eliminating the manual task of storage load balancing. It said the system would help customers cut staff overheads on the traditionally labor-intensive business of network storage management. As well as EMC's Symmetrix and Connectrix Enterprise Storage systems, ControlCenter is compatible with enterprise storage systems and other vendors signed up to EMC's open FibreAlliance MIB protocol. It supports most brands of Unix and Windows NT operating systems including Bull, Compaq, HP, IBM, NCR, NEC Sequent, Siemens, Silicon Graphics, Sun, plus Unisys plus Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Unix, Motif and Java-based web browsers.

Executives also announced an intensification of EMC's four-year technology-integration alliance with number-two software vendor Oracle Corp. The new venture will see both firms commit staff to a dedicated business unit and joint development center based at Oracle's Redwood Shores campus in Silicon Valley. The unit will be tasked with integrating and co-marketing Oracle's flagship 8i database and EMC's enterprise storage systems and software. Executives of both companies refused to disclose funding or headcount details for the initiative but said the units would comprise engineering and marketing personnel, plus staff to provide consultation and integration in the field. Both companies are looking to the link-up to extend their hegemony in supplying systems to internet businesses. Oracle counts the entire top ten- earning web sites as customers of its database software, plus nine of the top ten business-to-business sites. Michael Rocha, Oracle's senior vice president, platform technologies division, said EMC claimed "the majority" of these businesses as customers of its storage systems.

EMC president and chief executive officer, Michael Ruettgers, said the firm now ranked as the storage system of choice for internet businesses, nestling alongside Oracle for databases, Cisco for networks and Sun Solaris for servers and the operating system.

He reiterated his prediction, made earlier this year, that a major internet business would fail within the next year due to extended downtime or major data loss stemming from "inadequate information infrastructure." Meantime, EMC is promoting itself as the benchmark for a robust information infrastructure and announced yesterday what it called a "cooperative marketing effort" to endorse firms using its products. The firm said the initiative dubbed "EMC Proven" would validate the firm in the eyes of customers and investors. CEO Ruettgers touted EMC's products saying that venture capitalists would soon start demanding that internet start-ups have "bullet-proof" information infrastructures

EMC hopes to realize annual revenue of $10bn by 2001 excluding sales from acquisition, Data General, Ruettgers said. He has presided over annual revenue growth consistently above 30% since becoming chief executive officer in 1992. The firm posted net income of $309.5m for the three months to September 30, compared to $201.2m in the year-ago period, on revenue up 33% at $1.33bn.
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Author:Phillips, Stephen
Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 27, 1999
Words:665
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