Joe Tucci let slip, on purpose, that EMC will be coming out with a cluster storage system for backup and archive purposes at a press event this week.

Hulk is the code name for the hardware. Maui is the software. Expect to see large green guys in grass skirts at the fall SNW. The subtext: think Big Green for EMC storage clusters. Hey, that sales force doesn’t come cheap!

Kudos to EMC
Storage clusters are the coming thing for the 85-90% of all data that is unstructured. EMC would like to sell Syms for that data, but they’ve twigged to the fact that that won’t happen. Smart.

Surf’s up!
StorageMojo’s most regular readers are the bright folks in EMC’s competitive analysis group. Some of them are fans, but it isn’t a good idea to admit it. How much fun is it to read analysts repeating what you’ve paid them to say?

EMC’s challenge is to move to cluster storage while maintaining the margins that Wall Street loves. IBM is somnolent, HP complacent and Sun, well, Sun is a wild card.

The real wild card is the yet to be announced, VC-backed, cruise-missile into the heart of the whole bloated enterprise storage market. Someone who sees the advantage of turning a $30 billion array market into a $3 billion storage cluster market, as long as they get 80% of it.

The StorageMojo take
EMC has no choice, but my hat is off to Mark Lewis for getting Joe Tucci to recognize that fact. The desiccated corpses of once-great Boston minicomputer companies should be an object lesson. Surf or drown, guys.

Now if they can just lose Egan’s frat-boy aggression and chip-on-the-shoulder attitude, they may find the admiration they crave.

Comments welcome.