EMC overhauls storage lines

EMC has revealed new storage models in three of its lines, from entry-level to high end, and improvements to two of its operating systems.

“We’re demonstrating the breadth and the depth of our offerings,” Barbara Robidoux, vice-president of product marketing for EMC storage platforms, said in explaining why the announcements were done at the same time.

For its top-end Symmetrix line, the company has created the DMX-4 series of storage arrays, which include 4 Gigabit per second architecture with a Fiber Channel point-to-point back end. “This means directors have an independent relationship with each individual drive in the loop,” said Robidoux, As a result, if there’s a faulty drive a technician can fix it without going through the loop.

Available next month, DMX-4 systems also support both high speed Fiber Channel disk drives and low-cost 750GB drives, meaning administrators can chose to build a system around speed or the higher capacity and power commodity drives.

New capabilities have also been added to the Enginuity operating system, which can be sued on both the DMX-3 and -4 lines. EMC claims RAID 5 and 6 performance has been improved by up to 30 per cent under the new environment, while local data replication has been boosted by up to 10 times faster with the company’s TimeFinder software.

It also includes new integration with RSA’s enVision appliance for reading Symmetrix audit logs. For the Centera content address storage line, EMC will this month roll out the Generation 4 LP, system, which uses what it says are low power processors and chipsets. Along with being able to use the 750G SATA drives, the company claims a 67 per cent improvement in energy efficiency per terabyte over the Gen 4 models in part because the larger drives mean fewer nodes.

Customers will also be able to put Gen 4 LP nodes into existing Gen 4 frames.

The bottom of the Celerra line, which EMC says is designed for storage and file server consolidation of databases, Web applications and e-mail storage, has been boosted with the addition of the NS20 storage system. This model, and the improved NS40, can be deployed in network attached storage or storage area networks in either iSCSI or Fiber Channel environments. “For smaller customers and channel partners, this is a critical requirement they’ve been looking for,” said Robidoux.

New Celerra Startup Assistant software is said to speed installation to as little as 15 minutes. Customers waiting to get a break on the Rainfinity Global File Virtualization platform will welcome the addition of the Rainfinity File Management appliance, which at US$40,000 is said to be half the price of its big brother.

It allows organizations to implement policy-based file management, automatically moving and retrieving files across a NAS infrastructure. The appliance can be upgraded to the full Rainfinity solution.

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