NEW YORK (04/27/2000) - EMC Corp. introduced hardware and software this week that increases the performance and scalability of enterprise storage-area networks (SAN).
The Symmetrix 8000 series storage arrays, the Data General Corp. Clarion 4500 Fibre Channel Array and enhanced software are designed for large and midsize SAN customers looking to expand their SANs into the multiterabyte range with more powerful and faster hardware and software. The Symmetrix 8000 will complement EMC's smaller Symmetrix 3000 and 5000, and eventually replace them.
"EMC's existing technology, while certainly good, is relatively long in the tooth," says Steve Duplessie, an analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group in Milford, Massachusetts. "With the Symmetrix 8000, EMC just furthered the gap between itself and its would-be chasers - IBM Corp., Hitachi Data Systems and Hewlett-Packard Co.."
One EMC customer says the upgrade is important to his company.
"When we ran Excite Inc.'s search component with the Symmetrix 3000, performance was at a level that was not acceptable," says Eric Anderson, manager of systems operations for Excite@Home Inc. in Redwood City, California.
"We had to go to the Symmetrix 8000 to attain the level of performance we need."
The Symmetrix 8000 is three to four times faster than current Symmetrix storage arrays, EMC claims. The performance increases are a result of improved internal operating code, new microprocessors, faster memory and doubled internal data buses.
The Symmetrix 8000 is shipping now in two models - the 8400 and 8700. The 8400 scales from 72G bytes to more than 4.7 terabytes of data, while the 8700 has a 19.1-terabyte capacity. Both can simultaneously connect to IBM mainframes and Windows NT and 2000, Linux, Unix and AS/400 networks via SCSI and Fibre Channel.
"Our organization is interested in EMC Symmetrix or IBM Enterprise Storage Server as a centerpiece for a SAN," says Rick Herbert, senior systems administrator for IT for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. "Our storage needs, primarily database storage, increase continually and the increase in the Symmetrix's performance is attractive as our open systems applications are disk I/O bound."
The Data General Clarion 4500 is a full Fibre Channel storage array that includes software, dubbed Access Logix, which provides secure access control for multiple Sun Solaris, NT, HP-UX or IBM AIX host computers. The 4500 also supports other EMC software and is integrated into EMC's ControlCenter management software framework. ControlCenter allows storage administrators to monitor, configure, control, tune and plan EMC SANs from a central location.
"It makes Clarion useable and gives EMC a viable product in the midrange where before they didn't have one," Duplessie says. "EMC wants every user with previous Clarion equipment to upgrade to full Fibre Channel connectivity."
The Data General 4500 is the first product of the EMC/Data General acquisition that incorporates EMC software for the midrange storage market. It is shipping now.