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EMC sees its new Celerra NX4 as a channel play for the SMB

Storage vendor EMC says its new NX4 Unified Storage System will give its partners a more compelling value proposition for the SMB

Storage vendor EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) has announced the availability of the EMC Celerra NX4, the company’s new entry-point in its Celerra series of unified storage systems, and is counting on the channel to bring the product to small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers.

Boasting a flexible design that allows it to be deployed in NAS, iSCSI and Fibre Channel SAN environments and aimed at SMBs and remote branch offices looking to consolidate distributed file servers and storage onto one platform, the NX4 comes with Startup Assistant software that EMC says allows it to be powered-up and configured in as little as 15 minutes.

Brad Bunce, director of Celerra product marketing with EMC, says the vendor’s go-to-market strategy with the NX4 is very channel-focused. To support the channel with bringing the NX4 to market, he says EMC has simplified the quoting and ordering process similar to the express configuration EMC offers for other products. Partners can chose from small, medium or large configurations and then customize to meet specific needs as necessary.

They’ve also developed new workload application pricing tools for partners. Bunce says partners can use these online tools while interviewing prospective customers. Customer needs are inputted and the system will recommend a configuration and provide a quote the partner can give to the customer.

“It’s designed to be an easy to use, easy to position, easy to sell product for the channel,” said Bunce. “We expect this will allow us to continue our leadership in the NAS market.”

The vendor says its web-based Celerra management software simplifies system management, and thin provisioning simplifies storage management and improves storage efficiency.

Bunce says the channel has been instrumental to EMC’s success over the past year, noting the channel-based NS20 has been the main driver in EMC’s last two fiscal quarters. With the NX4 entering the market with similar functionality to the NS20 but at a lower price-point, Bunce says he expects the NX4 to fuel continued growth.

He adds the lower price-point of the NX4 will open-up new SMB territory for EMC partners, allowing them to bring a more comprehensive set of solutions to market.

“We’re signing-up additional partners that we haven’t traditionally worked with before because we have a lower-priced unified offering now, and it allows our existing partners to better round-out their portfolios,” said Bunce.

The NX4 supports Microsoft, Unix, Linux and VMware ESC server environments. It supports up to 60TB of capacity and is configurable with up to 60 high-capacity SATA drives and/or SAS drives.

Available now through the EMC channel, the list prince of an NX4 configured with a single blade, 4TB SATA, SIPS protocol, iSCSI and Snap is US$20,375. Bunce declined to release margins, but said EMC offers attractive transfer pricing for partners.