EMC is filling in the missing link in its storage product range by OEM'ing tape products from ADIC. It has a data lifecycle management strategy which clearly needs tape products to provide the foundation of its storage tiers, and already has disk arrays, software and services in its storage lineup.

Currently around 66 percent of EMC's 500 largest customers use three or more tiers of EMC storage. Adding tape will cement those customers' relationship with it. Howard Elias, EMC's corporate marketing VP explained: "EMC now provides customers the option of a tape solution for nearline storage and offsite vaulting, completing the final tier of storage in an ILM strategy."

EMC is taking ADIC's Scalar 24 (up to 24 slots, 9.67TB compressed capacity), 100 (15-96 slots, 28.8TB), i2000 (100-1674 slots, 670TB) and 10K (nearly 16,000 slots, 4.13PB) models, but not the Scalar 1000 (118-1182 slots, 375.2TB). It is also only taking them in the LTO format developed by HP, IBM, and Seagate, and not DLT/SDLT, developed by DEC and latterly Quantum - a blow to Quantum's effort to popularise its format.

ADIC will resell Clariion CX networked drive arrays as part of its Pathlight VX disk-to-disk-to-tape product, which employs virtual tape software on the disks. EMC is not taking the Pathlight VX product, nor any ADIC storage management software.

Products from EMC and ADIC in this announcement will be available in July.

The addition of tape products by EMC was warmly greeted by StorageTek, which has pioneered the creation of comprehensive storage hardware platforms and appears to have plans to seamlessly integrate tape and disk in a single spot.

"Thank you EMC," Mark Ward, StorageTek's general manager for ILM solutions said, "you have now endorsed our strategy of classifying, managing and moving information across a foundation of tiered storage based upon its purpose and value - which we call enterprise information lifecycle management."

He continued: "With this announcement, EMC recognises that tape is an essential element to this strategy and sophisticated customers will consider StorageTek for their tape libraries."

The way is potentially clear for EMC to use its Documentum and Legato technologies to help integrate its Centera content-addressed storage product with the ADIC libraries. A Legato product already backs up Centera. The background to this announcement is discussed here.