EMC bolsters Symmetrix storage arrays with NAND flash storage

* EMC says SSD is a 'tier zero' for its Symmetrix DMX-4 arrays

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EMC last week turned the world of high-end storage on its head with the introduction of flash-based solid state disk (SSD) for its Symmetrix DMX-4 storage arrays. You might say that that's nothing new - consumer devices have been using SSD for several years. You'd be wrong. The SSDs EMC is using are single-level NAND flash-based storage from STEC. Consumer devices use multi-level cell flash technology.

EMC last week turned the world of high-end storage on its head with the introduction of flash-based solid state disk (SSD) for its Symmetrix DMX-4 storage arrays (learn more about storage arrays in Network World's Storage Array Buyer's Guide). You might say that that's nothing new - consumer devices have been using SSD for several years. You'd be wrong. The SSDs EMC is using are single-level NAND flash-based storage from STEC. Consumer devices use multi-level cell flash technology.

EMC is adding SSD as a ‘tier zero’ for its Symms, and saying that only a few of its customers – those that need the hyper-performance of SSDs – will use it.

The SSD technology from EMC, which the company dubs Enterprise Flash Drive, will be used to cache frequently accessed blocks of data for transaction-heavy applications.

According to EMC’s claims, its Enterprise Flash Drives will deliver equivalent I/O operations per second as 30 15,000RPM 300GB drives.

The Enterprise Flash Drives will also fit into a standard disk carrier and be able to be added non-disruptively. In addition, the drives consume as much as 38% less power than traditional disk drives.

Expected to add about a 10% premium to the cost of a Symm, the SSDs will be available later this quarter. They will come in 73GB and 146GB capacities.

This announcement is expected to escalate the war for enterprise storage with IBM and Hitachi, both of whom have not yet made similar steps.

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