EMC Flexes DMXes

Kicks up Symmetrix with iSCSI options and Ficon-enabled DMX3000. Yup, it's still a hardware vendor

July 26, 2003

2 Min Read
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EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) next week will launch a new member of its Symmetrix DMX family, the DMX3000 -- which provides twice the capacity of its current high-end model and adds native support for Ficon -- and also plans to introduce iSCSI connectivity options for the DMX line, according to several sources.

EMC's DMX3000 array will provide up to 576 drives and 84 Tbytes of raw capacity, doubling that of the DMX2000, according to a story published today on the Website of trade magazine InfoWorld, which quotes EMC VP of platforms marketing Chuck Hollis. The article mistakenly refers to the system as the "DMX 8000"; however, other details have been corroborated by industry sources familiar with the announcement.

The 84-Tbyte DMX3000 is still well under the 146-Tbyte maximum capacity offered by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)'s Lightning 9900V system (see Does EMC's DMX Measure Up?). However, EMC claims the DMX (which stands for "Direct Matrix") architecture has the ability to provide up to 2,048 drives in a single system.

The system will also provide native Ficon connectivity, the story says, filling what had been a brief gap in EMC's high-end roadmap. When the company first launched the DMX in February, it said it would add support for Ficon, a mainframe Fibre Channel protocol, to the Symmetrix line this summer (see EMC Soups Up Symm).

In addition, EMC will unveil a new version of its SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) disk-mirroring software, which will provide asynchronous replication. EMC claims the software, called SRDF/A, will reduce bandwidth consumption by up to 30 percent compared with synchronous mirroring by transmitting data every 15 to 30 seconds, according to the InfoWorld story. EMC is also expected to debut a nondisruptive snapshot copy feature for the DMX line.EMC will also roll out native iSCSI options for the DMX family, a feature intended to let customers attach lower-end servers to SANs using IP. New controllers for the DMX will provide four external ports and allow users to mix and match Ficon, Gigabit Ethernet, and iSCSI, according to the InfoWorld report. Finally, EMC will cut pricing on its entry-level DMX800 array by 30 percent, the story says.

With the slew of DMX enhancements, EMC is showing an aggressive commitment to investing in its Symmetrix platform -- which remains the company's bread and butter. EMC is still primarily a hardware company, and will remain so even after the company's proposed $1.3 billion acquisition of Legato Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: LGTO) is completed (see EMC Gobbles Legato and EMC's Soft Spot?).

EMC representatives refused to comment on the enhanced DMX lineup [ed. note: not to be confused with the foul-mouthed rapper of the same name].

Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and Switch

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