EMC Boosts NAS Performance with NSX Gateway

The new Celerra NSX NAS gateway offers nested file systems, upgraded software and an iSCSI configuration wizard.

Expanding its NAS capabilities to fight high-end enterprise data-center scalability and performance woes, EMC has blended virtual file systems and storage-management software in its EMC Celerra NSX NAS gateway.

Introduced this week, the EMC Celerra NSX NAS (network-attached storage) gateway is the eventual successor to the slower-paced Celerra Clustered Network Server. The new storage hardware provides up to 300,000 NFS operations per second and supports up to 16 terabytes of file-size capacity per X-blade server. The product is available next month for $278,250, said officials of Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp.

The NSX NAS gateway sits in front of a storage area network and enables end users to boost storage performance thresholds through online upgrades that allow up to eight X-blades, previously called Celerra Data Movers, to run on the server.

EMC has significantly upgraded its Celerra software with new scalable management features around predictive monitoring to determine when a file system or file server is full based on historical data and patterns, allowing simplification of storage reallocation.

NAS iSCSI management and connectivity has been boosted through a new configuration wizard to ease provisioning, as well as integration with Microsoft Windows 2003 Volume Shadow Copy Services, officials said.

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For Unix and Windows users, EMCs Nested Mount Filesystem technology allows multiple Celerra file systems to be rolled up into a single virtual file system. EMC also unveiled its new EMC Centera FileArchiver. A plug-in for NSX, the new software integrates with the Celerra FileMover API to migrate data off a Celerra platform onto a Centera box based on policies.

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Mack Kigada, system engineer on the Data Storage team for the Seattle-based Providence Health System and an early user of EMCs NSX gateway, said the products iSCSI capabilities will be crucial for the expanding role of VMWare in his data center.

More importantly, he said, the boxs Nested Filesystem will be a major boon which will help administrate storage capacity and usage without the users being forced to open up an entire tree.

"That to me is fantastic, because usually we design file shares by facility or hospitals. If you can nest file systems you get much greater granular control," said Kigada. "I think Im going to use that feature quite a lot, because I can create it or shrink it on the go. Most of time shrinking storage is a headache, but now I can create a file system without interrupting storage."

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