Symmetrix DMX Mainframe Support Still on Horizon

EMC says mainframe support its flagship Symmetrix DMX products, along with native iSCSI and new data management features, won't ship until September.

Mainframe support for EMC Corp.s flagship Symmetrix DMX products, along with native iSCSI and new data management features, wont ship until September, officials said today.

The products are currently in beta tests, and some, such as iSCSI, will scale down to the midrange Clariion series in "the not-too-distant future," said CEO and President Joe Tucci, declining to elaborate.

The new Symmetrix DMX 3000 starts at $1.7 million and becomes the Hopkinton, Mass., companys highest-performance model, using the Fibre Connect (Ficon) method of attaching to mainframes and scaling to 73.5 usable terabytes, officials said.

EMCs interim Ficon product was the Symmetrix z8000 series, originally code-named Symmetrix 5.5. But it scaled to only 27.2 terabytes, and "it was an area for us of some losses," Tucci said.

DMXs Ficon and iSCSI abilities come via a new channel director card, which also supports Gigabit Ethernet. The card will also link to all other DMX models. Those include the DMX 800, itself with a new low-capacity option announced today, and the existing DMX 1000 and 2000, plus the high-performance 1000-P and 2000-P.

The iSCSI option is ideal for connecting stranded servers to storage area networks, where the cost of a Fibre Channel host-bus adapter for just one server is prohibitive, officials said.

EMC also announced today that EMC Snap, for Symmetrix snapshots, will be available in September. Unlike other high-end snapshot options, EMC Snap runs in memory instead of in storage, to avoid performance clogs, said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president of storage platform operations. A new asynchronous version of EMCs Symmetrix Remote Data Facility, called SRDF/A, is also due. Based on capacity tiers, EMC Snap starts at $33,000, and SRDF/A starts at $20,000.

"Customers no longer have the luxury of planned downtime. They need to be able to update their hardware online," Donatelli said.

EMC later this year will also support the Common Information Model for storage management in its entire lineup, officials previously said.