EMC Adds ATA To Clariion

Available for EMC's Clariion CX400 and CX600 arrays, each module holds up to 15 250-Gbyte ATA hard drives. The modules can be mixed and matched with Fibre Channel drive modules, making the Clariions the only arrays to allow both types of drives to be used in the same box, said Chuck Hollis, vice president of storage platform marketing for the vendor.


The ATA modules are available for Clariion CX400 (above) and CX600 arrays.

Deploying both Fibre Channel and ATA hard drives in a Clariion will make it easier for customers to do local and remote data replication using regular storage management tools from EMC and other vendors, Hollis said.

"They can provision the array, map applications, and curve out LUNs [logical unit numbers] on both the Fibre Channel and ATA drives," he said.

Scott Pelletier, storage practice manager at Lewan and Associates, a Denver-based solution provider, said lower-cost ATA drives are ideal for hierarchical storage management, e-mail archiving, imaging, and a variety of tasks where clients just need to put data somewhere at a low price point.

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"Clariion storage had traditionally been too expensive to do these kinds of tasks, so customers had to go to other vendors who don't offer the same functionality," Pelletier said.

The advantage of having both Fibre Channel and ATA hard drives in a single array is that customers now have "one throat to choke," Pelletier said.

"Also, they get the flexibility to migrate from one type of storage to another in the same array," he said. "They don't have to worry about having incompatible arrays on the same SAN. And they can do it all with one set of tools."

ATA hard drives allow customers to move less mission-critical data from tape to disk, Hollis said. An ATA module with a maximum capacity of 15 250-Gbyte hard drives, or about 3.75 Tbytes of raw capacity, lists for about 1 cent per Mbyte, compared with about 4 cents per Mbyte for a Fibre Channel module with 15 146-Mbyte hard drives, he said.

However, ATA performance is only about one-quarter that of Fibre Channel drives, and ATA hard drives have yet to match the reliability of Fibre Channel, Hollis said.

Legacy CX400 and CX600 arrays can be upgraded to ATA capabilities just by adding the ATA modules, he said.