EMC, Dell Introduce Midrange 10G Ethernet Arrays

EMC powers up its midrange Clariion storage arrays with 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and makes the line's software more VMware-friendly. Dell is also selling the new Clariion arrays and is adding new services to go with its own branded Clariion arrays.

EMC and Dell, like peas in a pod when it comes to disk-based enterprise storage, came out with connected announcements Aug. 25.
Item No.1: EMC has powered up its midrange Clariion storage arrays for 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and made the product line's software more VMware-friendly. This is logical, considering that EMC owns VMware.
Clariion arrays, aimed and priced at the midrange business market, are looking and acting more and more like the powerful high-end EMC Symmetrix arrays stationed in huge data centers.
EMC has increased scalability for Clariion VMware deployments by enabling customers to attach up to eight times more virtual machines to a single array. EMC claims the added bandwidth and the ability to support thousands of virtual servers is more efficient for VMware customers because the combination of these features allows more consolidation into a single box.
EMC also said a new replication manager will be made available later in 2009, and the new Clariion arrays will be available in the third quarter. Go here for more information.
Item No. 2: Dell, which sells EMC Clariion CX4 arrays under joint branding, will also be selling CX4 arrays with that 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. The upgrade amounts to a full-fledged storage platform that includes UltraFlex Modular I/O, dual-mode arrays that can connect to 8G-bit and 4G-bit Fibre Channel, along with 10G-bit and 1G-bit iSCSI ports.
Basically, the Dell Clariion arrays are designed to plug into virtually any data center connectivity setup.
The company also said it will provide a key green IT feature-hard disk drive "spin-down"-as a standard control in the CX4s within a few weeks. Drive spin-down enables storage administrators to save electrical power by setting time schedules for drives to power down when not in use.
EMC's virtualization-aware Navisphere management software is included in the CX4 package. This is where the spin-down controls are located, along with storage distribution automation controls.
Dell, which has been investing in its consulting services ever since it decided to move heavily into enterprise storage about three years ago, has added some new services.
Dell's ProConsult services, offered in cooperation with EMC, now can provide customers with "action-oriented plans" for optimized storage environments. ProConsult Storage Consolidation Solutions include Dell/EMC SAN Solution Design Services-which in turn includes optional backup protection, such as Dell/EMC Local Data Protection Design and Dell/EMC Remote Data Protection Design-and Dell/EMC Back-Up Integration Design.
Ethernet-currently 1G and 4G capacities are fairly standard in data centers-is increasingly being used as the connectivity venue for storage as enterprises continue to consolidate their physical servers and arrays and virtualize their systems.
For more information on Dell's announcement, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...