EMC Bolsters ILM, Compliance, IP Storage Offerings

EMC introduced the products Thursday in London, where the storage giant also touted how well it is doing in the Europe, Middle East and Africa markets.

Dave Donatelli, executive vice president of storage platform operations at EMC, said the enhancements to the DMX-3 array increase capacity to up to 1,024 Tbytes, or more than 1 petabyte, and allow customers to buy the array at a lower-cost configuration and then expand it as needed. "It's the largest storage array ever invented," he said.

The DMX-3 arrays can be configured with up to 2,400 of the 7,200-rpm, 500-Gbyte Fibre Channel drives now coming to market and with high-performance 15,000-rpm, 146-Gbyte drives and 10,000-rpm, 300-Gbyte Fibre Channel drives. By combining various hard drives, the DMX-3 can have multiple tiers of storage internally, including storage for critical applications, backup and archiving, Donatelli said. Also, by placing multiple tiers of storage in one large array, customers can simplify storage management and protection plus ease data migration of data between the storage tiers, he said.

EMC scaled down DMX-3 as well. The entry-level configuration starts at 96 hard drives, which can be a combination of different technologies for multiple storage tiers, and capacity can be expanded as necessary, Donatelli said.

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The new DMX-3 is slated to start shipping in March. Pricing for the new models was not released.

EMC also improved the data-retention management software in its Centera storage appliance, which enables data to be stored so that it can&'t be deleted or modified except as permitted by a customer's compliance policies. The updated software lets authorized application users and administrators identify and extend retention periods for specific records or objects in the Centera archive, including event-based retention and litigation hold features that enable files or documents scheduled for deletion to be retained longer. Also new is the ability to create management profiles that make it easier for organizations to determine who can have access to specific data and at what level.

The new Centera software is already shipping and carries a list price of $2,800 for a four-node license. The Centera appliance also now has 500-Gbyte SATA hard drives, up from the current 320-Gbyte SATA drives.

EMC also is looking to bring low-cost iSCSI storage into the enterprise with new technology. Donatelli introduced the Multi Path File System for iSCSI (MPFSi), which boosts the performance of iSCSI storage by allowing data to be retrieved from a storage array over an IP network using a different data path from the one used to request the data.

For example, Donatelli said, a customer who requests data over an IP network today needs to send that request over the network through a NAS gateway to the array on which it is stored, with the data going back through the gateway and over the network. With MPFSi, the data can be sent directly over the network to the client without going through the gateway, which improves iSCSI performance, he said.

EMC is donating the MPFSi client software to the open-source community to encourage the building of applications using the technology, Donatelli said.

Also new is the ability to automate thin provisioning in EMC's Celerra enterprise NAS appliance. Thin provisioning lets users “trick” an application into thinking that it can address more storage capacity than is physically available, which reduces the need to overprovision capacity. Donatelli said the new automated thin-provisioning capability means that additional capacity can be configured on-the-fly.

Finally, EMC is leveraging last year's acquisition of Rainfinity to better manage data on heterogeneous NAS appliances. The new EMC Rainfinity Global File Virtualization technology virtualizes the management of global namespace to allow customers to move data between heterogeneous NAS appliances in a non-disruptive fashion to increase utilization, Donatelli said.

The EMC Rainfinity Global File Virtualization platform is expected to ship next month at a list price of $81,100.