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EMC Uncages 4-Gig Clariions

EMC entered the 4-Gbit/s era today, launching its long-awaited and much discussed new Clariion platform. (See EMC Refreshes Clariion and Dell Delivers 4-Gig Clariion.)

EMC brought out the CX3-20, CX3-40, and CX3-80 UltraScale midrange systems, which replace its Clariion CX 300, CX 500, and CX 700 systems. The new systems -- collectively code-named "Sledgehammer" -- have 4-Gbit/s connections on the front end and the back end, and twice the cache of their predecessors. Here the stats:

  • The CX3-20 has 4 Gbytes of cache and holds up to 120 disks for 59 Tbytes
  • The CX3-40 has 8 Gbytes of cache and up to 240 disks for 119 Tbytes
  • The CX3-80 has 16 Gbytes of cache and up to 480 disks for 239 Tbytes

Starting prices range from $27,000 for the CX3-20 to $101,000 for the CX3-80. All systems are now available.

Until now, EMC publicly resisted 4-Gbit/s systems -- claiming true 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel calls for hard drives that are still unavailable. While 4-Gbit/s systems can support that rate on the front end between server and controller, EMC points out, they can't do so from the controller to the drives.

This limitation hasn't stopped EMC's midrange competitors from releasing systems that support front-end 4-Gbit/s FC. IBM has sold 4-Gbit/s midrange systems through an OEM deal with LSI Logic's Engenio systems division since last June, and Hewlett-Packard and Hitachi Data Systems have also predated EMC's 4-Gbit/s entry.

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