EMC Takes Wraps Off Trio of New Storage Offerings

Hoping to kick its larger information life-cycle management (ILM) strategy into a higher gear, EMC on Thursday rolled out new file-sharing software designed to improve performance over IP networks.

In concert with its Multi-Path File System for iSCSI file-sharing software, the company also debuted new technology for its Symmetrix DMX-3 storage array that allows administrators to access information across more tiers of applications that can now be stored in a single array.

At a press conference in London, company officials unveiled what they believe is the world's first storage array capable of scaling beyond 1 petabyte, or 1,024 terabytes, of storage. Company officials said the product's capacity is possible through the qualification of the Symmetrix DMX-3 system configuration that can support 2,400 disk drives along with the availability of new 500-GB Fibre-Channel disk drives.

Besides going after the high end, EMC also bolstered its lower-end offerings by unveiling its first entry-level Symmetrix DMX-3 system designed so that users can incrementally scale its capabilities upward as their business needs grow. Users can scale the product's performance and capacity of a single array from 7 terabytes using 96 disk drives to more than 1 petabyte with 2,400 disk drives.

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"We think the foundation of an ILM strategy is tiered storage. And tiered storage is about service levels and ensuring information is in the right location based on its value and importance," says David Donatelli, EMC's executive vice president in charge of storage platforms operations. "Previously, this has meant separate platforms for each tier. Now users can bring all their information together, making it easier to manage.

In a third announcement, EMC unwrapped several new features for its Rainfinity Global File Virtualization platform that helps improve the management of information in heterogeneous network-attached storage (NAS) environments.

According to company officials, two of the more significant improvements include Global Namespace Management and Synchronous IP Replication, which now supply users with better management and protection for file-based data throughout the life cycle.

"When you look at the virtualization stories out there, EMC has one that is complete," says Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, who believes the company is addressing many of the critical elements that comprise a virtualized environment. "They cover every important element of infrastructure, including servers with VMware, block storage and Invista, and file virtualization with Rainfinity. These announcements put the last pieces in place."

The new features in the Rainfinity Global File Virtualization product will be available by the end of February, carrying a list price of $81,100. The new Multi-Path File System will be priced according to the number of servers users have in their environment, although in a maximum configuration it lists at $225 per server. The new Symmetrix DMX-3 storage configuration will ship by the end of March.