EMC Plans Product Blitz

EMC to unveil DMX-4 device, as well as Clariion, Celerra, and Centera enhancements

July 14, 2007

5 Min Read
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EMC looks set to launch its Symmetrix DMX-4 system next week, as well as a slew of enhancements for its Clariion, Celerra, and Centera platforms, according to industry sources.

The vendor, which has a press conference scheduled for Monday morning, will take the wraps off the latest addition to its Symmetrix DMX product line, analysts say. (See EMC in Full Launch Mode, EMC Swells Its High End, and EMC Makes Good on DMX-3.) "They have a new DMX that's 4-Gig," says one analyst, who asked not to be named, confirming that the device will offer end-to-end 4-Gbit/s throughput.

More and more SAN vendors are pushing 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel products in an attempt to tap into users' demand for high bandwidth storage. (See Insider: 4-Gig's Successor Uncertain, Infortrend Intros Raid Arrays, Finisar CEO: FC Rising With 10G, 4-Gig Fires Up Emulex, and NASA Upgrades Supercomputer.)

As well as offering a mixture of Fibre Channel and SATA drives and enhanced replication features, sources also told Byte and Switch that the DMX-4 will offer increased capacity through the use of 750-Gbyte drives, although the overall size of the system is still unknown.


Sources say the vendor is also looking to boost the overall capacity of its Centera content-addressable storage (CAS) system with the addition of 750-Gbyte drives. (See EMC Powers Delta Dental and Bank Uses EMC.)Earlier this year there were rumors that the vendor was planning to replace its Centera platform, although EMC told Byte and Switch that it will continue upgrading the system, which now seems to be happening. (See Reports: EMC to Replace Centera.)

Jumping on the green bandwagon, EMC is also said to be planning a "green" environmental announcement tied to the new 750-Gbyte Symmetrix and Centera drives. "If you go from 500-Gbyte to 750-Gbyte drives in the same footprint, you have 50 percent more capacity," says another source, who asked not to be named, adding that the larger drives typically don't consume any more energy than their predecessors.

Rival vendors, namely IBM and HP, have been making a song and dance about their green credentials over recent months, although EMC has already taken some tentative steps to tackle users' power issues. (See EMC's Power Play, IBM Unveils Energy Plan, Big Blue Launches Big Green, IBM Keeps AISO.Net Green, HP Cuts Power & Cooling, and Government & Green IT.)

With IT managers and CIOs increasingly looking to limit system downtime, EMC is said to be planning to add RAID 6 capabilities to its midrange system, as well as other performance enhancements. (See Elephant Standardizes on EMC, EMC Bulks Up Systems, and Emulex, Brocade Offer Clariion Kit.)

RAID 6 extends RAID 5's support for redundant arrays with additional parity to protect against the potential for multiple drive failures. (See Timecruiser and Whats the Buzz I'm Hearing About RAID 6?) But even though RAID 6 is being deployed more widely than ever, the technology's cost per Mbyte comes at a premium, thanks to its requirement for an extra controller and at least four hard disks per instance. (See Capacity Considerations and Adaptec, Intel Team on RAID.)With midrange rivals HP and NetApp already offering RAID 6 capabilities, another source, previously not quoted here, told Byte and Switch that this is fast becoming a check-box for storage vendors. "If you lose a second [RAID 5] drive, you have lost data," he says. "As customers deploy these large drives, it's nice to have these things."


As well as the ability to set up the NAS system in 15 minutes via a new "wizard," sources say EMC is also planning "all-in-one" integrated NAS and SAN capabilities for Celerra. (See EMC Unveils Next-Gen Backup and EMC Takes CDP Downmarket .) "There's more of a unified storage approach across Fibre Channel, iSCSI, NFS, and CIFS," says one contact, although he would not reveal specific details.

EMC is also expected to launch a new entry-level, single-mode Celerra, the NS20, which will compete directly with NetApp's FAS270. It will allow for upgrade to the vendor's existing NS40 device, which replaced the NS50 when it was launched last year. (See Stephens Deploys NetApp, IBM/NetApp Deal Blossoms, and NetApp Nets Plenty.)

Security enhancements
EMC, which bought security specialist RSA last year, is said to be planning greater integration between Symmetrix, Clariion, Centera, and the RSA's security offerings. (See EMC Acquires RSA.) Specifically, new rollouts are focused on RSA's EnVision technology, a monitoring software that runs on a Windows server. "They have done integration with the EnVision appliance that keeps track of all the audit logging across your infrastructure," says one analyst, explaining that this builds on recent announcements from EMC in this space. (See EMC Focuses enVision and RSA, EMC Integrate.)

Whither thin provisioning?

Despite rumors of impending thin provisioning enhancements for the Clariion and Celerra platforms, sources tell Byte and Switch that there is nothing substantive coming next week. (See Tips for Risk-Free Thin Provisioning, Revisiting Thin Provisioning's 'Firsts', and Real Thin Provisioning.) "They are not talking explicitly about thin provisioning now," says one source.EMC has had thin provisioning for file and iSCSI on EMC Celerra systems since early 2006, although the vendor has confirmed its intention to extend the technology across its broader SAN portfolio. (See Thin Is Definitely In.)

— James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • RSA Security Inc.

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