EMC's storage product upgrades have gained praise for providing greater capacity with greener technology.

In a Webcast today, EMC is expected to announce several new products including a new high-end Symmetrix DMX-4 storage system and enhancements to its mid-range Clariion array, Celerra network-attached storage (NAS) box and content-addressable Centera storage system.

"A lot of the new features are related to power and cooling," says Stephanie Balouras, senior analyst with Forrester Research. "EMC is laying the foundation for a pretty strong campaign on green IT and how they can gain efficiencies in the data centre." Higher-capacity drives being added to most of its systems can be expected to consume 25 percent less power, according to EMC's estimates.

Another analyst sees the EMC initiatives paying competitive dividends.

"EMC is refreshing, enhancing and increasing both the scale up/scale down and scale out capabilities of their systems," says Greg Schulz, senior analyst for StorageIO. "They are going pretty comprehensive compared to some other vendors' recent product announcements. There is more meat on the bone than other vendors who have announced upgrades recently."

The company last introduced new Symmetrix gear 17 months ago that had 500 Gbyte drives for a storage capacity of more than a petabyte. Hitachi, by contrast, last upgraded its Universal Storage Platform in May of this year, one year after it upgraded its performance and added availability enhancements. HP announced in June green features for its Enterprise Virtual Array such as low-cost and slower Fibre ATA drives.

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Specifically, EMC is to announce a new DMX-4 array that has end-to-end 4 Gbit/s Fibre Channel connectivity. The new DMX-4 will also allow customers to intermix Fibre Channel and Serial ATA drives, and use increased-capacity 750 Gbyte drives that will lower power consumption by as much as 25 percent. Performance in the replication of data between arrays will also be increased, sources say. As expected and promised in February at the RSA Conference, EMC will also more tightly integrate security features from RSA into the DMX-4.

With the expanded product line, EMC continues to bolster its hardware platform. The company maintained its lead in external disk systems with almost a 25 percent market share in 2006, according to Gartner. IBM followed EMC with 15.8 percent of the market.

Almost half of EMC's revenue is derived from its storage systems. In the first quarter of 2006, systems revenue represented 44 percent of total revenue, software licenses and maintenance revenue represented 40 percent, and professional services and systems revenue accounted for 16 percent of the total revenue.