Blocks upon Blocks of V-Max Engines

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-04-14 Print this article Print

Blocks upon Blocks of V-Max Engines

The new system is made up of blocks upon blocks of V-Max engines in containers, which have all the necessary disk and I/O ports running on multiple quad-core Xeon 5500s. They also feature as much as 128GB of random-access memory running on EMC's standard Engenuity storage operating system.
Users can start with a one-rack system and scale up as needed by adding more V-Max engines along with their associated NAND flash, Fibre Channel or SATA (serial ATA) storage.

Each Symmetrix chassis can take as many as eight V-Max engines (totaling a full terabyte of memory) and twice as many front- and back-end connections as are currently supported by EMC's DMX-4 systems.

"We can do all this by breaking through the constraints of a physical backplane or physical boundary," Robidoux said. "It's important to have virtually unprecedented scale, but you need to accompany that with software that allows you to automate and self-manage it, and mask the huge number of devices in the system."

An entry-level V-Max SE costs about 10 percent less than a DMX-4 but offers better speed performance due to the quad-core Intel processors and enhancements to the embedded storage operating system, Robidoux said.

EMC also claims that the V-Max arrays, because they are built using industry open standards, will integrate automatically with virtual server and data center management policies that users already have in-house.

"EMC last really changed its systems in 2003," analyst Dave Vellante of Wikibon told eWEEK. "This is basically another forklift [change]. The old stuff doesn't play. The reason they had to do it originally was that the older Symmetrix was just not competitive. They had been way behind [the market], but the DMX did a creditable job of catching up.

"Customers weren't investing in Symmetrix [lately]. EMC is now saying to them, 'Hey, we're investing in Symmetrix, so you should invest too.' The other piece is that EMC is making its costs much more competitive with the traditional midrange modular storage. In time they will give customers ways to automate it, so they can do tiered storage all with EMC rather than creating tiered-storage silos between Tier 1 and 2," Vellante said.

EMC's original Symmetrix storage arrays were designed by Moshe Yanai, the man who helped send the company on its way to world leadership in disk storage back in the 1990s.

Yanai founded his own storage company, XIV, in 2000 and sold it to IBM in January 2008 for a reported $300 million.

For more information on the V-Max systems, go here.

Editor's note: This story was updated to clarify that the top capacity of the V-Max starter system is 2TB and that Intel Xeon 5500 Nehalem chips are not used in this new product.


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel