EMC signs tape deal, reorganizes software business

EMC has signed a reseller deal with ADIC to fill out its ILM strategy and has moved all its software divisions, except VMWare, under one roof.

As widely anticipated, EMC Corp. announced Thursday that it has formally entered the tape market via a reseller deal with ADIC. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The deal, unveiled at EMC's analyst day in New York, puts to rest months of speculation around the storage company's intent to fill out its information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy with a tape offering.

"There is still a marketplace for tape and tape emulation and customers were asking us to build it into our management framework," said Howard Elias, executive vice president and head of corporate marketing at EMC. "We now provide customers the option of a tape solution for nearline storage and offsite vaulting, completing the final tier of storage in an ILM strategy."

That said, EMC expects disk systems and backup-to-disk applications to continue to push down into the recovery market. "The world is moving to backup-to-disk, and the way we will take share in this market is by changing the game," said Mark Lewis, executive vice president and co-head of EMC's software business group.

Under the terms of the agreement, EMC will resell Advanced Digital Information Corp.'s (ADIC) Scalar family of automated tape libraries with LTO tape drives. These products are midrange enterprise systems targeted at the open systems market. In this particular sector, ADIC is the market leader with 30% share, according to the latest numbers from Gartner Dataquest Inc. For its part, ADIC will incorporate EMC's Clariion ATA disks in its Pathlight VX virtual tape solution.

Filling the gaps

Wall Street analysts commenting on the deal said that it was about time EMC filled this hole in its portfolio. "This deal was critical to a complete ILM strategy, but it doesn't cover large enterprises or mainframe customers, and there is no WORM (write once read many) capability, which is important for some compliance environments," said one analyst who requested anonymity.

Elias said EMC has "no plans to add another tape partner" and noted that the reseller arrangement the company currently has with Quantum Corp. would continue.

Separately, EMC announced that it has reshuffled its software business to include its open systems applications, such as ControlCenter, PowerPath, PowerVolume and the Visual series of products, among others.The EMC SRDF and TimeFinder software, well known cash cows for the company, will remain under Dave Donatelli's ownership in the Hardware Group.

The new Software Business Group will also include EMC's acquisitions of Documentum and Legato with the intention to better integrate these products with all of EMC's software. These groups had previously been run as separate entities. The exception to this integration is VMWare, which will continue to run as an independent organization. "To focus on creating a heterogeneous virtualization infrastructure, this group has to be very separate from EMC," said company CEO, Joe Tucci.

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