EMC ups performance ante on DMX

Keeping its promise of a summer 2003 update, EMC Corp. announced a whack of enhancements to its high-end storage Symmetrix DMX line Wednesday, assuring customers the company is actively listening to demands.

The Symmetrix DMX, announced first in February, appears to be the booster shot EMC needed to regain lost market share, according to IDC Canada Ltd.’s Alan Freedman, research manager, infrastructure hardware.

Topping Wednesday’s announcement, the company unveiled the DMX3000, EMC’s latest high-end system. The 3000 offers up to 576 drives, providing a maximum raw capacity of more than 84TB, essentially doubling the performance for certain applications of its predecessor, the DMX2000.

In addition, EMC announced the Symmetrix DM800 entry-level configuration, which comes with scalable raw capacities of 580GB to over 17TB, and carries a price tag that is approximately 30 per cent lower than the previous version.

Also on the agenda, EMC is offering native iSCSI through the new Multi-protocol Channel Director for high-end storage systems, offering customers a way to consolidate and network previously stranded servers. According to EMC, iSCSI offers the value of networked storage without the cost associated with Fibre Channel installations. Although iSCSI will only be offered for the Symmetrix DMX line, EMC said customers can expect its Clariion and additional systems to carry the transport protocol in the near future.

The Hopkinton, Mass.-based company has given mainframe customers something to talk about as well. EMC is now offering enhanced compatibility with IBM Corp.’s mainframe feature set. As part of the mainframe offering, the company has announced a DMX-based implementation of IBM’s XRC Version 3 replication software.

“Mainframes are still the core of the data centre,” said David Donatelli, EMC executive vice-president, Storage Platforms Operations, during a teleconference. “With our two new DMX models, we can offer mainframe customers the broadest range of price performance in the industry.”

EMC is also enhancing mainframe environments through 2GB FICON connectivity, the highest performance transport protocol.

“With our new offerings, customers can consolidate with confidence because they have got both the ability to scale their capacity as well as their performance as well as the best non-disruptive capabilities in the business,” Donatelli continued. “They can get the scalability an flexibility to scale up and down and can manage everything with EMC software. It is all there in DMX.”

IDC’s Freedman said the launch of DMX has done wonders for EMC and he expects the enhanced functionality announced Wednesday will continue to make the offering appealing to enterprise customers.

“Before, (EMC) was using the old Symmetrix and they had started to lose market share and lose their momentum because it didn’t have the features or performance that someone like HDS (Hitachi Data Systems) was coming out with,” Freedman explained. “Then they introduced the DMX and it re-energized the product line and sales force and gave EMC a shot in the arm, which was what they needed.”

All products will be available this September. The DXM800 comes with a list price of US$284,000, and the Symmetrix DMX3000 starts at US$1.7 million. For more information, visit the company online at www.emc.com.