EMC's 'Mega Launch II' Intros 40-Plus Hardware, Software Products

EMC on Monday opened its annual EMC World 2012 conference, held this week in Las Vegas, with the introduction of several new storage hardware and software products.

The huge launch, dubbed by EMC as "Mega Launch II," includes over 40 new products, making it easily the largest product launch since EMC's original "Mega Launch" of 40-plus products early last year.

The new product introductions came a day after EMC held its first-ever Global Partner Summit, an event in which the company drew an estimated 3,000 personnel from its worldwide partner base.

[Related: EMC Moves Enterprise, Cloud, Services Business To The Channel ]

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Included in the launch is an expansion of EMC's flagship Symmetrix VMAX storage array line to three models, said Jeremy Burton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at EMC.

The newest member of the VMAX family, the VMAX 40K, takes a page from rival Hitachi Data Systems' VSP playbook by consolidating EMC and non-EMC storage capacity into a single virtual storage pool via its new Federated Tiered Storage software. The software performs active data integrity checking on data from any back-end arrays to protect against silent data corruption, and it lets customers use Symmetrix SRDF and TimeFinder software for business continuity, FAST VP for improved performance, and other EMC software to manage data across those arrays.

Unlike the HDS VSP, Federated Tiered Storage on the VMAX 40K provides EMC Symmetrix data reliability features to the non-EMC storage, said Brian Gallagher, president of EMC's Enterprise Storage division.

Federated Tiered Storage also includes automated tiered storage capabilities, and works with all applications and databases, Gallagher said. And it is available with no additional per-TB charges. The HDS technology does not provide those features, and there is a per-TB charge over an initial capacity, Gallagher said.

The VMAX 40K features a new hardware controller platform that can be configured with up to 32 2.8-GHz Intel Xeon 6-core processors, up to 2 TBs of mirrored DRAM, and up to 4 petabytes of usable capacity using high-capacity drives or up to 3.2 PBs using 2.5-inch SAS hard drives. The VMAX 40K can also be used with eMLC Flash-based SSDs.

The VMAX family also includes the VMAX 20K, which is equivalent to the existing VMAX array, as well as the VMAX 10K, which replaces the existing entry-level VMAXe.

Also new across the VMAX family is new software, including a new version of EMC's Unisphere with advanced management and a new user interface.

NEXT: Expanding The VNX SMB Storage Family

EMC expanded its VNX SMB storage array family with a new entry-level model and new software capabilities.

New to the family is the VNXe3150, the first in the family to support new Intel quad-core processors for a 50-percent increase in performance, said Eric Herzog, EMC's senior vice president of product management and product marketing. It also supports up to 100 3-TB near-line SAS hard drives, as well as SSDs for performance, Herzog said.

The VNXe3150, with 10-Gbit Ethernet connectivity for use with NAS and iSCSI storage, is expected to ship in the second half of the year with a starting list price of under $9,300.

When it ships, the VNXe3150 is expected to be the base of a new member of EMC's VSPEX series of reference architectures, as well as the base of a new Vblock from VCE.

EMC also enhanced its Isilon scale-out NAS product family with a new version of its Isilon OneFS operating system and the addition of a new Isilon performance.

The new OneFS operating system, codenamed "Mavericks," brings together big data functionality with such enterprise IT capabilities as security, data protection, interoperability and predictable performance, said Sujal Patel, president of EMC's Isilon Storage division.

Security in OneFS was enhanced with new role-based administration for managing security depending on the user, Patel said. It also now features secure isolation under which a file system can be segmented into domains to support enterprise security requirements, he said.

New snapshot restore capabilities now make it easier for Isilon users to roll back storage to recover after a virus, Patel said. The operating system also includes 1-click failover and failback with full snapshot integration to improve the Isilon appliances' recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO), he said.

The new OneFS operating system also scales NAS performance to up to 1.6 million I/Os per second. OneFS also features improved VMware integration, and now includes a REST-based API for integrating into third-party management applications, Patel said.

On the hardware side, EMC's newest member of its Isilon scale-out NAS appliance, the X400, fits in between the company's current entry-level and high-end appliances with scalability of up to 15 petabytes in a single volume and throughput of up to 106 GBs per second, he said.

NEXT: Increasing Data Mobility To The Cloud With VPLEX

EMC also enhanced the performance of its VPLEX virtual storage architecture, which allows data mobility between on-premise, public cloud and private cloud storage.

VPLEX 5.1 now includes integration with EMC's RecoverPoint continuous data protection software and with the company's Unisphere entry-level and midrange storage management software, Gallagher said.

VPLEX is also newly certified for Oracle application environments and with VCE Vblock converged infrastructure environments, and it has a 40-percent performance improvement and double the number of virtual servers that can be managed compared to the previous version, he said.

On the backup and recovery side, EMC unveiled a new Data Domain dedupe appliance, new dedupe software, and a new version of its Avamar virtualized environment backup software.

New to EMC is the DD990, which B.J. Jenkins, president of EMC's Backup and Recovery Systems division, called the world's fastest dedupe storage system.

The DD990 allows 248 TBs of data to be backed up in eight hours, and it can expand to 1.3 TBs in useable capacity, Jenkins said. It also consolidates the backups of up to 270 remote sites, he said.

EMC's Data Domain Boost software, which increases the performance of its Data Domain deduplication technology in specific operating environments, was enhanced for new support for EMC Greenplum big data computing technology and Oracle software. Performance was also enhanced for EMC Avamar virtualized backup and EMC Networker data protection environments as well as for Symantec environments, Jenkins said.

EMC also introduced the Data Domain Data Invulnerability Architecture, a new application for proving to customers that the integrity of stored data is not changed over time.

Also new from EMC is Avamar 6.1, a new version of its virtualized environment backup and recovery software that now features three times the backup performance and 30 times the recovery performance over the previous version, Jenkins said. Avamar 6.1 also now includes new support for SAP, Sybase and SQL 2012 environments, he said.

EMC World saw the debut of EMC DataBridge, a new enterprise management tool that provides IT operations teams with a single pane of glass management for building customizable dashboards for delivering IT-as-a-Service.

Burton said EMC is providing a software development kit to allow customers to build their own applications for managing storage and server infrastructures, as well as software that allows those custom-built apps to be assembled on the screen as the user wants to view it.

"And EMC DataBridge runs the screen the user composed," he said. "This not only allows us to make management tools more malleable, it gives us a view into other management tools."

NEXT: Updating Atmos Cloud Storage

EMC also updated its Atmos cloud storage platform with networking enhancements for 50 percent faster read and write performance for large objects; enhanced alerts and aggregated logging at the system, data center, and node level; faster node upgrades in distributed environments; expanded tools for creating clouds in Google Chrome, HTML5 and Firefox environments; new APIs; and the ability to apply Centera metadata policies to content stored in the cloud.