EMC Thinks Big


EMC made a play Thursday to boost its high-end storage position, unveiling a new petabyte array and virtualization offerings.

High-end Symmetrix systems make up about half of EMC's sales. Sales of the systems have been flat in recent quarters, but they picked up in the fourth quarter on strong sales of the company's new DMX-3 offering.

EMC hopes to build on that momentum with the release Thursday of its most powerful Symmetrix DMX-3 storage server to date, which can power up to 2,400 drives and scale to more than one petabyte of capacity.

EMC said the DMX-3 will help customers incrementally scale the performance and capacity of a single array from 7 terabytes, using 96 disk drives, to more than a petabyte with 2,400 disk drives.

Moreover, the company is offering the DMX-3 with 500 gigabyte, low-cost, Fibre Channel drives to let customers use cost-effective storage for less important files. This new feature enables more information from more applications to be stored on a single array.

The DMX-3 was unveiled last July with a promise to exceed 2,000 drives before the end of 2006.

Ken Steinhardt, director of technology analysis at EMC, said Thursday's launch puts the Hopkinton, Mass., company ahead of schedule.

"We're redefining tiered storage," Steinhardt said.

With low-cost drives, systems like the DMX-3 are designed to accommodate several tiers of storage in one big machine, which means it treats frequently and rarely accessed files according to their importance.

Previously, such disparate storage had to be housed in different devices. The ability to put files with different access priorities into the same box can be a cost and maintenance saver for businesses.

The new Symmetrix DMX-3 storage system configurations will begin shipping in March, and will include support for native Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) and IBM's iSeries midrange server.

EMC also unveiled some virtualization software to round out its portfolio.

The information systems vendor introduced new Multi-Path File System for iSCSI (MPFSi) file system software for EMC's Celerra network-attached storage (NAS) machines. Steinhardt said MPFSi delivers performance and cost benefits for customers that pipe grid computing and rich media files over IP networks.

Also, new virtual provisioning capabilities in Celerra allow file systems and iSCSI LUNs to be sized to required capacities and provisioned with less capacity. This reduces storage capacity that may be over-allocated.

EMC also gave its Rainfinity Global File Virtualization platform a boost, with global namespace management and synchronous IP replication.

This software offers customers a unified view of all files and file systems located on different file servers on an IP network.

EMC also improved its Centera content addressed storage (CAS) system, adding new event-based retention and litigation software features that give customers more control over their archived information for regulatory and legal purposes.

The new software is designed to help corporations manage their growing glut of data and meet requirements in areas such as governance and protection, which have become more stringent in the wake of accounting scandals.

Article courtesy of Internet News


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