EMC Punches Up DMX Line of Storage Arrays

The high-end Symmetrix DMX-3 will support more than 2,000 disk drives by the end of 2006.

EMC Corp. on Monday introduced its speediest Symmetrix DMX disk array, the DMX-3, which supports lower-cost Fibre Channel disk drives, allows for a tiered storage system from a single box and scales up to 1 petabyte, or 1,024 terabytes, of storage capacity.

When it ships in early September, the DMX-3 will support as many 960 disk drives; that figure will increase to 1,920 disk drives in the first half of 2006 and will surpass 2,000 disk drives by the end of 2006, according to officials of Hopkinton, Mass., company.

EMC on Monday also unveiled new software that complements the DMX-3 MC that is designed to smooth host-based data migration for customers running both open system and mainframe environments. The new EMC Open Migrator/LM software transports Unix- or Windows-based data between two heterogeneous storage systems or within a single environment without the need for downtime.

To help alleviate mainframe data migration woes, EMC has partnered with Softek Storage Solutions Corp. to build the EMC/Softek Logical Data Migration Facility software. The new offering migrates information at the dataset level to DMX online, and then automatically resizes storage volumes on the fly based on need to minimize resource consumption and boost consolidation efforts, said EMC officials.

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Joe Tucci, president and CEO of EMC, said high-end storage array demand is dramatically on the rise due to increased performance, functionality and availability features being sought for Microsoft Exchange environments and server consolidation, for instance. In fact, he said that EMC miscalculated when the company decided to introduce the lower-end DMX 800, 1000 and 2000 models over its larger-scale DMX 3000 model.

"Basically what Im saying is we made a bad decision. We shouldve introduced the 3000 first. Thats the natural fit and what customers wanted," said Tucci. "[The DMX-3] is a brand-new system. This is newer technology. … Customers are saying they want bigger [boxes]. Assuming you cant hit the wall on performance, they want the scale with many, many drives on it. So we think were in good shape with this system, and we learned from our past."

Tucci said that he expects about 15 percent of EMC systems shipped this quarter to be DMX-3. However, he acknowledged that a "fully loaded" DMX-3 will invariably lead toward a mild cannibalization effect on smaller DMX models. The eventual existence of bigger Fibre Channel hard drive counts will boost high-end storage array demand even further—a trend EMC plans to take advantage of with its new product, he said. "We think that will be a big thing for us," noted Tucci.

The first release of EMC Symmetrix DMX-3 will support FICON-attached IBM mainframes including ZOS, and iSCSI or Fibre Channel-based open systems hosts running AIX, Hewlett-Packard Co. HP/UX, Linux, Sun Microsystems Inc. Solaris and Microsoft Windows.

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