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EMC's high-end Symmetrix arrays have been able to serve up block-level data across storage-area networks and files through the use of the Celerra processing unit. But that combination has a starting price of $350,000 (£225,457). However, storage systems that combine the Celerra engine and Clariion arrays start at only $175,000 (£112,728).
The only catch is that for the time being, a Celerra/Clariion system can only serve up files. But sources said that by the end of the year, the combination would be able to support block-level data across a switched Fibre Channel network. EMC declined to comment on those plans.
Rival Network Appliance is expected to introduce similar capabilities in a storage array that can serve up either block- or file-level data. The key difference, according to sources, is that the Network Appliance product will have an integrated architecture and will not use a separate file server engine.
Network Appliance is scheduled to make an announcement tomorrow.