EMC launches higher-capacity enterprise flash

The company believes demand for higher-capacity flash drives is growing, and has rolled out 200GB and 400GB versions for its three main storage lines

EMC has extended its range of solid-state disk storage with the launch of two 'Enterprise Flash' drives with 200GB and 400GB capacities.

The drives can be used in the company's high-end Symmetrix DMX-4 and mid-range Clarrion storage systems, as well as EMC's Celerra unified-storage systems, the company said on Wednesday.

According to EMC, flash drives are well suited to high-priority, 'Tier 0' applications, such as those found in the banking and finance industries where trades need to be executed in fractions of a second. The company claims that its drives can process between 6,000 and 10,000 transactions per second.

ZDNet UK asked EMC how much its Enterprise Flash drives cost, but the company did not divulge that information. Compared with traditional storage, solid-state drives (SSDs) are very expensive, so organisations that want to exploit their capabilities have to use SSDs efficiently — according to analysts at Gartner, this is not a straightforward process.

A Gartner report, issued in February and entitled Emerging Technology Analysis: Solid-State Drives for Enterprise Storage, said: "Today there are few tools that easily enable, much less identify and automate, the process of ensuring that the most performance-sensitive or mission-critical data is placed in the new Tier 0."

A number of other suppliers, including Pillar Data Systems, HP and IBM, also support flash in enterprise storage.

EMC was the first company to offer enterprise flash storage in 2008, in a 146GB drive. Earlier this month, Fusion-io announced a 640GB drive that uses the PCI Express bus and can read 6GB per second and deliver more than 500,000 read input/outputs per second.

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