Clariion storage boosted by virtual technology

EMC recently gave its midrange Clariion storage line a face-lift, with an upgraded operating system, designed to improve data management and availability, and hardware designed to boost performance.

Industry watchers point to EMC’s new Virtual LUN technology as perhaps the highlight of the announcements.

This addition to the Flare operating system is designed to help customers more easily shuffle data from disk to disk within an array or remove an array without stopping applications on a host computer.

LUN, or logical unit networks, is a term used in storage area networks to describe the connection between a server or host computer and an array. “No other storage vendor is offering it in a midrange system right now,” said Charles King, principal analyst for Pund-IT.

Astolfo Rueda, a network administrator with Seattle law firm Preston, Gates & Ellis LLP, is beta-testing the technology.

“Virtual LUN technology allows you to move data without impacting the host computer or the client,” Rueda said.

“It allows us to take advantage of all the servers and arrays…while guaranteeing the consistent state of an Exchange or Informix database.” UltraPoint Technology, another addition to the operating system, enables customers to diagnose disk problems.

It also automates the process of shifting selected data from more expensive systems to less expensive ones, such as from Fibre Channel to Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) disks.

Both operating system improvements are backward compatible with older arrays.

On the hardware side, EMC introduced the Clariion CX300-s, CX500-s and CX700-s arrays, which are DC powered for mobile applications.

The DC power helps to make the systems compliant with standards required for use in government, telecommunications, and oil and gas industries.

The arrays, which are priced starting at US$15,000, replace the CX300, 500 and 700. The company also introduced new models of its Clariion Disk Library, a disk-based backup and recovery product line.

The DL310, DL710, DL720 and DL740 have up to double the performance and capacity of previous models.

They use ATA drives and can scale up to 384TB of capacity.

EMC has incorporated a technology it calls write-cache consolidation, which can aggregate small blocks of data into larger chunks to increase performance.

The Disk Libraries are priced starting at US$110,000.

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Related links:

EMC is going virtual

EMC storage router to make debut

EMC unveils Symmetrix 7, rebrands as DMX-3

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