EMC Refreshes Storage Array Line - Page 2

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A new version of the Flare operating system, which can be deployed on all Clariion CX3 systems as well as previous generation CX300, CX500 and CX700 systems, enables RAID 6 protection and active/active failover, Robidoux said.

EMC, based in Hopkinton, Mass., has provided a "good-enough refresh" to satisfy its customers, Hill told eWEEK.

"A lot of useful functions and features have been added to a number of products, and customers of those products should be able to take advantage of them," Hill said. "It is not a huge refresh—i.e. a blockbuster, as there is no single announcement that has Extra! Extra! written all over it—but those types of announcements are relatively rare."

EMC continues to make life harder for the competition by making more investments across more product offerings at every level of the storage spectrum, said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

/zimages/4/28571.gifTo read about how EMC is starting to reap significant returns from its corporate acquisition campaign, click here.

"At the same time, they make it easier for a customer to see the value in a one stop shop. The commitment to innovate across the whole portfolio means users arent forced into a one size fits all solution. Its pretty impressive," Duplessie said.

One prominent competitor had a personal message for EMC in his reaction to the news.

"Welcome to the party, its about time," Hewlett Packard storage area network director of marketing Kyle Fitze told eWEEK. "We really think that theyre playing catch-up on some key feature gaps theyve had in their product line, both at the high-end and in the midrange."

HP refreshed its own storage system line last month with features designed to reduce power and cooling costs in data centers by as much as 50 percent.

"Related to performance, its always interesting that EMC is allowed to claim performance improvements when they wont participate in any third-party performance benchmarking," Fitze said. "We still ask EMC, and even customers whove talked to EMC, to show us the proof behind those claims. We have yet to see them.

"They even require their customers in the signing of their purchase contracts to agree not make any sort of claims about the arrays [performance] to the public," Fitze said. "Its interesting that theyre able to get away with that kind of gag order with their customers."

In response, EMC spokesperson Colin Boroski said that "EMC does not participate in SPC [Storage Performance Council] benchmarks, as they are not indicative of real world environments or an objective assessment of a systems capabilities handling the random workloads that are common in customer environments.

"Vendors, for example, can turn off features and functions to maximize their performance during the tests that would never be turned off in a real world application," Boroski said. "When quoting SPC results, vendors do not have to indicate what they disabled. So, vendors can turn off all RAID function, turn off all HA functions, turn off all data integrity functions, etc. in order to look good and that does not provide useful or beneficial information to anyone except the vendor."

"We work with customers every day who ask us to run specific benchmarks based on their unique requirements, and we are more than happy to accommodate," Boroski said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifRead more here about how EMC is working to reduce the power consumption and cooling requirements for its products.

About the customer "gag order" asserted by HPs Fitze, Boroski simply said: "This rumor is false."

The new Centera Generation 4 LP nodes are generally available, and the Rainfinity File Management Appliance will be available later this month, Robidoux said. The new Symmetrix DMX-4 series, new version of Enginuity, new Celerra NS20 systems, Celerra multi-protocol NS40 systems and new Clariion enhancements will be available in August, Robidoux said.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...