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EMC Sets Symm 6 Debut

After slipping its schedule by at least a year, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is planning to officially launch the Symmetrix 6 -- the next generation of its high-end enterprise storage array -- next month, sources tell Byte and Switch.

EMC today issued an advisory for an event scheduled for Feb. 3, 2003, hosted by president and CEO Joe Tucci, in New York. Sources knowledgeable about the company's plans say this will be the kickoff for the Symmetrix 6, which represents EMC's largest product category in terms of revenue.

Symm 6's major change is that it adopts a modular architecture, replacing the previous monolithic one. The change promises to give customers greater flexibility in adding more storage when they need it. It will be able to handle up to 768 drives in a single system image, for a total capacity of around 112 Tbytes. It uses Seagate Technology Inc.'s (NYSE: STX) 146-Gbyte drives, sources say.

The system will use a Disk Array Enclosure (DAE) design similar to that used with the Clariion CX family, reducing EMC's manufacturing costs and thus improving margins on the Symm 6, according to sources (see EMC Readies Symmetrix Upgrade and EMC Revs Up Clariion).

Another interesting new feature of the Symm 6 will be an optional "eBlade," developed in conjunction with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), that will extend EMC's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) replication software over IP. The Symmetrix eBlade, which EMC and Cisco have supposedly been developing over the last three years, will be backward-compatible with the Symm 5.

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