Make more room in your storage arrays

Dell and EMC have taken a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups approach to enterprise storage.

The companies co-brand the recently-released CX4 line of storage systems, with Dell taking on the responsibility for selling the machines into its corporate customer base.

According to Kevin Smith, who markets enterprise products at Toronto-based Dell Canada, a key selling point will be the ability to take two great protocols and use them together.

“Traditionally customers would attach their most critical machines that needed the most performance to Fibre Channel array or leave lower-performance servers stranded from the SAN,” Smith says.

The C4 line, however, includes UltraFlex I/O, a technology that allows the number of front-end and back-end ports and the network interconnect needed to be customized.

The machines could be configured with both four-gigabit Fibre Channel (FC) and one-gigabit iSCSI ports for example.

“UltraFlex technology allows them to add more iSCSi to upgrade from one gigabit to 10 Gigabit Ethernet,” he adds.

Support for solid state drives means customers no longer have to think in terms of fibre channel drives vs. SATA drives, Smith says.

“Now they can look at solid-state and low-power SATA drives to create more tiering within their environment. They can put their most critical I/O applications on tiered storage and move them off as needed.”

At the low end, the CX4-120 accommodates 120 Fibre Channel or SATA disk drives, connections for to up to 128 highly available servers and six I/O slots. The higher-end of the four models accommodates 960 drives and connections to 512 servers.

Pricing hasn’t been announced.

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