EMC Intros Entry-Level VMAX 10K Enterprise Storage Array

The VMAX 10K entry-level EMC VMAX enterprise storage arrays now feature 2.8GHz Intel Westmere processors, each with 12 cores, compared to the 2.4GHz Westmeres with eight cores each.

They also offer support for new tiers of storage, including non-EMC arrays, via EMC's Federated Tiered Storage feature. That feature, which brings EMC's management tools to non-EMC storage, was previously available on the VMAX 20K and VMAX 40K models.

[Related: EMC Acquires Storage, Cloud Automation Software Developer iWave ]

Also new is support for new high-density 2.5-inch hard drives, which EMC said doubles the number of drives supported in an array while cutting weight and power consumption by about one-third compared to using 3.5-inch hard drives.

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The new entry VMAX 10K array can be configured with up to four two-controller storage engines, up to 512 GB of storage cache, and up to 1,560 drives and 64 ports for a maximum usable capacity of 1.5 petabytes. However, it can be purchased with as few as one storage engine and 24 hard drives.

About 30 percent of VMAX 10K arrays in the last quarter of 2012 went to customers new to the EMC VMAX storage line, EMC said.

Chuck Hollis, EMC CTO and vice president of global marketing, wrote in a blog post that the new entry-level VMAX 10K arrays are the first channel partner-friendly VMAX enterprise arrays.

"Historically, the VMAX hasn't been what you'd describe as a 'partner friendly' product for a variety of reasons," Hollis wrote. "Well, with the VMAX 10K, that's apparently changed. I was quite pleased to see just how many VMAX 10Ks have been sold as part of partner-led engagements."

Hollis also wrote that, while the term "enterprise storage" is widely used, the VMAX 10K meets his definition, which requires more than the standard two storage controllers for redundancy.

"From an architectural perspective, it's hard to claim to be an enterprise-class storage array if you only have two storage controllers," he wrote. "Why? If the first one fails over to its twin, you're looking at a 50% performance degradation. While that might be acceptable in many environments; it's unacceptable in the most demanding. So let's presume multi-controller designs as at least one of the defining characteristics."