Dell EMC upgrades SC portfolio with support from EMC-side technologies

Dell EMC World this year has seen the integration of support from legacy Dell products like PowerEdge servers for EMC solutions. This particular integration goes the other way, with support from legacy EMC storage management and data protection products being announced for the mid-range SC line.


Jeff Boudreau, SVP and General Manager, Midrange Storage, Dell EMC

AUSTIN – At its Dell EMC World event here, Dell EMC has announced it has boosted the capabilities of the SC series by integrating them with EMC technologies such as the ViPR, VPLEX systems and CloudArray storage. They also indicated that in the near term, the SC Series which came from Dell and the Unity line that came from EMC will both continue to be sold, although in the longer term, some degree of rationalization is likely.

The integration of technologies from the former Dell and EMC sides of the house has been a strong theme at this event. The integration of former EMC products with PowerEdge servers from legacy Dell has also been announced. This follows the same process except that it is EMC technologies being tied into legacy Dell.

“We are definitely trying to show a family connection between Dell and EMC products at this event,” said Jeff Boudreau, SVP and General Manager, Midrange Storage, Dell EMC. Boudreau, who ran EMC’s mid-range products before the merger. Boudreau now has assumed responsibility for the legacy Dell mid-range portfolio as well, with the exception of the hyper-converged products.

Both of these businesses were large before the acquisition. Dell mid-range storage was a billion dollar business, while EMC’s mid-range was close to three billion. Together they are close to 36 per cent of the mid-range market. The EMC component had more than 80 per cent of the mid-range business going through the channel.

“These are two big install bases, with loyal customers on both sides,” Boudreau said. “While there are some overlaps, they each have very specific strengths. 75 per cent of SC is in the sub $35,000 market. That’s their bread and butter. 90 per cent of the SC business is tied to larger infrastructure refreshes, particularly the PowerEdge servers. EMC Unity, on the other hand, wasn’t tied to compute at all since EMC didn’t do compute. It was also optimized for mixed workloads and mission critical apps – so was a very different market.

“The new announcements are very much about common management,” Boudreau added. Support of eight EMC products for SC were announced, five in storage management and mobility, and three in data protection.

One of the storage management ones is around the Dell EMC ViPR Suite. Comprised of ViPR Controller and ViPR Storage Resource Management. This may be the least valuable to SC partners, as only the high end of the line is likely to find ViPR attractive.

“Partners who handle mainly the SC 2000 and SC 4000 are likely to have little interest in ViPR,” Boundreau said.

Other integrations may be more attractive. The storage management ones are:

  • Dell EMC Intelligent Data Mobility technology, which enables smooth and seamless migration to newer systems at a fixed proportional rate;
  • Dell EMC PowerPath software, high-performance multipath software that automates data path management, failover and recovery, and optimizes load balancing to ensure application availability and performance;
  • Dell EMC VPLEX systems, which deliver continuous availability and data mobility to ensure uptime for mission-critical applications;
  • Dell EMC CloudArray cloud-integrated storage.

On the data protection side, SC support was announced for three EMC backup products: Dell EMC Data Domain; Dell EMC Data Protection Suite for Backup featuring Avamar and NetWorker technology, and Dell EMC RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines, the latter of which is VMware-specific.

Boudreau said that new announcements on SC relating to software improvements and new hardware platforms will be made in early to mid-2017.

Over this time frame, no changes to harmonize the two portfolios should be anticipated, although in the long run, some changes are inevitable.

“Over time we will have to simplify the portfolio,” Boudreau said. “Too many products makes things hard for our engineers and our salespeople. But these changes have to be made over time. Both products have very loyal customer bases. We don’t want to leave anyone behind, so we have to have a safe landing spot with no impact. In addition, we have recently introduced the new Unity product and new SC product, so there is no reason to stop anything now.”