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EMC upgrades garner praise on 'green' benefits

Symmetrix, Clariion, Celerra and Centera gear getting new capabilities

By , Network World
July 16, 2007 12:09 AM ET

Network World - Greater capacity, greener results: That combination of benefits stands as the core of a battery of major product upgrades coming from EMC this week, according to industry experts.

In a Webcast today, the company was expected to introduce a new high-end Symmetrix DMX-4 storage system, as well as enhancements to its mid-range Clariion array, Celerra network-attached storage (NAS) box, content-addressable Centera storage system and its Rainfinity file-virtualization appliance. Higher-capacity drives being added to most of its systems can be expected to consume 33% less power, according to EMC’s estimates. The company is also adding security and availability features.

"A lot of the new features are related to power and cooling," says Stephanie Balouras, senior analyst with Forrester Research. "EMC is laying the foundation for a pretty strong campaign on green IT and how they can gain efficiencies in the data center."

Another analyst sees the EMC initiatives paying competitive dividends.

Making storage green
By using higher-capacity disk drives, customers can deploy fewer drives and hence, consume less power.

Vendor Storage system Drive Type
EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 750GB Fibre Channel
HP Enterprise Virtual Array 500GB Fibre ATA
IBM System Storage DS8000 500GB Fibre ATA
Hitachi Universal Storage Platform 500GB Fibre Channel
Click to see: A list of green storage wares

“EMC is refreshing, enhancing and increasing both the scale up/scale down and scale out capabilities of their systems," says Greg Schulz, senior analyst for StorageIO. "They are going pretty comprehensive compared to some other vendors' recent product announcements. There is more meat on the bone than other vendors who have announced upgrades recently."

The company last introduced new Symmetrix gear 17 months ago that had 500GB drives for a storage capacity of more than a petabyte. Hitachi, by contrast, last upgraded its Universal Storage Platform in May of this year, one year after it upgraded its performance and added availability enhancements. And HP announced in June green features for its Enterprise Virtual Array such as low-cost and slower Fibre ATA drives.

Specifically, the company was to announce a new DMX-4 -- the DMX-4 950 array that has end-to-end 4Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity and performance that is as much as 30% faster than previous versions. The new DMX-4 will also allow customers to intermix Fibre Channel and Serial ATA drives, and use increased-capacity 750GB Serial ATA II drives that will lower power consumption by as much as 33%. Performance in the replication of data between arrays with TimeFinder and Symmetrix Remote Data Facility/Synchronous will also be increased.

TimeFinder now will run as much as 10 times faster than previous versions; SRDF/S is now 33% faster and has the capability to replicate data at twice the distance. As expected and promised in February at the RSA Conference, EMC will also more tightly integrate security features from RSA into the DMX-4 by incorporating audit logs from the Symmetrix into RSA's Envision appliance.

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