EMC sets sights on small businesses with VNXe

In a key overhaul of its range, EMC has introduced storage for virtual datacentres aimed at SMBs, unveiled the successors to Clariion and Celerra, and revamped its deduplication and VMAX software
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

EMC has overhauled its storage line-up, introducing a new family of unified storage products, refreshing software for its Symmetrix VMAX systems and adding new versions of its deduplication storage.

The VNX unified storage range, which is aimed at virtual datacentres, is designed to replace EMC's Clariion SAN and Celerra NAS storage platforms in the future, the company said in its product announcement on Tuesday. The family contains a lower-end subset named VNXe, targeted at small and medium-sized businesses, which starts at $10,000 (£6,250).

"The VNX family sets the stage for all of our future products in EMC's midrange portfolio," Rich Napolitano, president of EMC's unified storage division, said in a statement.

"For storage specialists, we've converged the best attributes of... SAN (with EMC Clariion) and NAS (with EMC Celerra) storage systems into one powerful new platform — armed with... advanced automated tiering software to exploit the benefits of SSDs," he added.

The new range will go up against NetApp's FAS trio — the 2000, 3000 and 6000 systems — and IBM's Storwize V7000.

As with Clariion and Celerra systems, the VNX and VNXe storage products can all be administered using Unisphere management tools, which promise to streamline the management process.

The VNXe comes in two variants, the 3100 and the 3300. Both systems lack fibre channel support, instead using 1Gb Ethernet. The 3100 can hold between 48 and 96 drives, and the 3300 up to 120. The 3100 offers a choice of one or two storage controllers and 4GB or 8GB of memory, while the 3300 has two controllers and 24GB of memory.

The VNX family sets the stage for all of our future products in EMC's midrange portfolio.
– Rich Napolitano, EMC

The storage specialist has also updated the software for its Symmetrix VMAX (Virtual Matrix Architecture) networked storage array, which is optimised for virtual applications. It has released a new version of Fast VP (Fully Automated Storage Tiering with Virtual Pools) software, along with expanded support for the VMware API.

The software upgrade should provide faster management, provisioning, replication and mobility, according to EMC. The company said it delivers 40 percent more application performance at a 40 percent lower cost, while requiring 87 percent fewer disks and 75 percent less power.

Deduplication technology
EMC has also added to its range of deduplication technology from subsidiary Data Domain, which it picked up for $2.1bn after a bidding war with rival NetApp in 2009. It has introduced the Data Domain Global Deduplication Array and two single-controller dedupe systems, the Data Domain DD890 and DD860. The company also unveiled the Data Domain Archiver, which incorporates the DD860 controller. The archiving system provides 768TB of raw capacity and can throughput data at 9.8TB per hour, according to EMC.

The VNX range can be ordered now and will become available worldwide in the first quarter of 2011. All of the Symmetrix VMAX updates are generally available and the new Data Domain deduplication storage systems are available immediately, according to EMC. The company was unable to provide UK pricing at the time of writing.

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