EMC is to launch storage arrays for small and medium-size businesses that double the capacity of previous models and add new tools to ease installation.

EMC entered the SMB space two years ago with the launch of its Clariion AX100 and AX100i storage arrays. The AX150 and AX150i are the next iterations of those models.

The 2U rack-mountable systems can hold up to 12 250GB or 500GB Serial ATA drives and can scale to 6TB of capacity, doubling the capacity of the previous models. Minimum capacity required is 750GB. Performance boosts come from the array's new Serial ATA-II 3GB/s disk interface. The previous models use the Serial ATA 1.5Gbit/s interface.

The AX150 Fibre Channel array supports storage area network or direct-attached connections as well as Windows, Linux, NetWare, Solaris and VMware. The AX150i has an iSCSI interface and supports Windows or Linux.

The arrays come in single-controller and dual-controller configurations and both versions include dual-redundant, hot-swappable power supplies.

The new arrays also double the data snapshots available to eight.

New wizard-driven installation and server configuration tools for the AX150 will help ease deployment pains for SMBs, which often lack in-house storage expertise, by reducing the number of installation steps from about 20 to five, said EMC spokesman Barry Ader.

Pricing for the arrays starts at US$5,600. Dell Inc. will also ship the arrays.