EMC has announced a new suite of products aimed at small and medium businesses (SMBs). The new range, sold under the name of EMC Insignia, consists of:-

- Clariion AX100 disk array
- Storage Administrator for Exchange
- Visual SRM SMB Edition
- Replistor SMB Edition
- Retrospect 7.5
- eRoom SMB EDition

Pat Lee, EMC's senior product manager for Insignia, said: "EMC Insignia is a line of hardware and software products that enable SMBs to store, manage, protect, and share vital business information." He said SMBs have up to eight servers and 100 users.

The Insignia set of products is a make-over of a March, 2005, SMB product line tagged as Making Storage Simple. EMC's SMB push first began in October, 2004, when it bought Dantz and its Retrospect backup product.

The Clariion array is a connected drive array, not network-attached storage (NAS) or a storage area network (SAN). It can hold up to 6TB and the main competition is HP's MSA 1000 product.

Storage Administrator for Exchange helps users migrate to Exchange 2003 and shared AX100 storage. Lee says: "It's better than Microsoft's manual tools." Users can take days to migrate with Microsoft, hours with EMC. There is a simple GUI and users don't have to understand logical unit numbers (LUNs). Lee adds that the product also enables users to avoid paying Microsoft cluster prices to achieve shared storage.

Visual SRM provides automated storage resource management. Users can look at the total usage of Exchange, SQL Server, Sybase, and Oracle databases. It can reduce or eliminate server outages due to out-of-control disk space consumption through policies to provision more disk space. In a possible indication of future EMC SMB capabilities it supports NAS and SAN as well as direct-attached disk.

Replistor SMB provides continuous data protection (CDP) via replication from one server on the local network to another or to a service provider's online remote vault.

The Dantz brand name disappears. Retrospect v7.5 provides disk-to-disk backup for desktops and notebook systems. It has functions to improve notebook computer backup with the ability for users to restore their own files from a central server using a software wizard.

The eRoom SMB product causes a single server to act as a repository for information accessed via browsers from networked servers (think Lotus Workspace groupware.)

These products are for sale separately through EMC distributors and resellers under a Velocity brand channel programme, but not via Dell.

The AX100 array is priced at £3,160 while most of the software products are under £600 list price. However Storage Administrator for Exchange is £1,375. Street prices may be lower. The AX100 array, Retrospect 7.5 and Storage Administrator for Exchange are available now. The other products will be available in April.