At its annual user conference today, EMC announced upgrades acrossmost of its major product lines, including a new high-end SymmetrixVMAX array with up to 4PB capacity and twice the performance of itspredecessor. In all, the company said that at EMC World in Las Vegas this weekit is announcing 42 new product capabilities or upgrades. "It's a horizontal improvement across their entire portfolio.That's hard to do when you have that many products," said SteveDuplessie, founder and lead analyst of market research firm ESG. EMC said the product upgrades support its ongoing strategy ofenabling private and public cloud computing deployments. Among the new products EMC introduced a new version of its newentry-level VNXe hybrid storage array. |
The new VNXe 3150 storagesystem offers up to 50% more performance and capacity compared withits predecessor. VNX and VNXe combine the EMC Clariion blockstorage and Celerra file storage system in one array. Perhaps most significantly, the company today announced a new modelof its high-end Symmetrix VMAX storage array that doubles both themaximum capacity and performance over its predecessor. The companyalso also gave the names of its existing VMAX lineup addendums, tohelp classify them for use cases ranging from lower-end to midrangeenterprises. "VMAX for the first time ever becomes a family.
We typically hadthe approach that we'd build a VMAX and three years later build anew VMAX, and the old VMAX would become ... obsolete," said JeremyBurton, EMC's chief marketing officer. Now, the current high-end VMAX hardware becomes the VMAX 20K and the VMAXe , a midrange to lower-end enterprise array, becomes the VMAX 10K,Burton said. The VMAX 20K scales to 2PB of usable capacity and the10K scales to 1.5PB. The VMAX 40K The new VMAX 40K uses up to 32 2.8GHz Intel Xeon six-coreprocessors, and has as much as 2TB of mirrored (1TB usable) andECC-protected DDR3 DRAM, and twice as much internal fabricbandwidth as the original EMC VMAX.
The new high density option for the VMAX 40K utilizes 2.5-in SASdrives to support up to 3.2PB in a footprint that is one-thirdsmaller and uses one-third less power than the equivalentconfiguration using 3.5-in. drives. The array also offers new 2.5-in. enterprise-class MLC (multi-levelcell) solid-state drives.
The new SSDs offer the performance,reliability and life expectancy of EMC's previous 3.5-in. SLC(single-level cell) SSDs and at a lower price point. EMC's VMAX operating system, Enginuity , also gives all three arrays -- the 10K, 20K and 40K a similarlook and feel but with differing capabilities, Burton said. "Probably the best analogy is you don't necessarily build aspreadsheet in Microsoft Word, but the way is works and operates isvery similar, which gives people familiarity," Burton said.
"Whatwe find is people who manage the midrange and high end aredifferent people, therefore we have a distinct tool, but certainlythe look and feel are identical." The new VMAX 40K, which scales up to eight controllers, offers upto 4 petabytes of capacity in a single rack and has twice thethroughput of the previous high-end VMAX, Burton said. Along with the VMAX refresh, EMC last week unveiled a new product bundle for cloud service providers called VMAX SP[service provider]. VMAX SP is a bundled package that includes a VMAX array along withsoftware and four service-level agreements (SLAs), ranging frombronze to gold. The package deal was created to ease the process ofdeploying a public cloud infrastructure.
"The real mission we're on is to continue to realize this vision ofpeople to not just deploy a private cloud infrastructure, but ahybrid cloud infrastructure," Burton said. Besides the announcement of more capacity and throughput, the VMAXcombined with an upgrade to EMC's Fully Automated Storage Tiering(FAST) software, allows the storage box to interface withcompetitor's high-end disk arrays. That allows users to manageexisting IBM DS-line or Hitachi VSP-line storage arrays through EMC's Symmetrix management interface. "So we can essentially treat IBM and Hitachi as a tier of an EMCstorage array," Burton said.
"That certainly becomes important whenyou're in a market where taking share matters." "It really is a three-horse race at the high end. We feel withFAST, we have the best storage tiering implementation, bar none,"he added. Hitachi Data Systems also offers a similar feature with its VirtualStorage Platform, which can act as a front-end to competitor'sarrays. VMAX, combined with EMC's VPLEX cloud tiering appliance, will alsodissolve the distance between private and public clouds, Burtonsaid.
"We think that's going to provide a pretty strong foundation forcloud-based data," he said. EMC's VPLEX metro and VPLEX geo allow for replication of data between applications over distancesof up to 100 kilometers to greater than 2,000 kilometers,respectively. VPLEX is now also integrated with the latest version of RecoverPoint software, EMC's continuousdata protection application that not only backs up data, but allowsinstantaneous recovery of it in a disaster or system failure. EMC said upgrades to the various element of VPLEX now allows it tooffer 40% more performance and twice the scalability of previousiterations of the hardware/software package. "The whole mission in the life of VPLEX is to turn the entire worldinto active-active data centers.
So you have a primary site and asecondary site, both sites should be able to run workloadsregardless of whether one site is in recovery mode or the other isin transaction processing mode," Burton said. VPLEX is now also now certified with Oracle RAC. The user interfaceenables multi-site active/active RAC deployments over up to 100kilometers apart while maintaining full synchronization andcontinuous operations in the event of a site failure. VNX upgrades Like its VMAX, EMC upgraded its midrange VNX unified storage arrayswith new processors and capacity.
EMC's new entry-level VNXe3150 array comes with an Intel quad coreprocessor, and is optimized for cloud computing and virtualizedapplications. The array, like its predecessors, is best suited forIT generalists with its simple UI for managing virtualenvironments. In the midrange storage product arena, EMC announced its VNX arraysnow have a 38% lower starting purchase cost for SSD tiers -- aresult of lower flash prices. Users can also mix RAID types withina storage pool, EMC said. For example, SSDs can be configured asRAID 5 and SAS drives as RAID 6 for maximum efficiency and maximumprotection.
EMC's VNX array line also received some new snapshot capabilities.The VNX now support 256 writable snapshots per Logical Unit Number(LUN) for up to 32,000 per system (depending on VNX system size.)The array can also take snapshots of snapshots, for backupdevelopment and test purposes. The company also announced EMC VNX Connector for VMware vCenterOperations Management Suite. VNX Connector will provide tools suchas dashboards with health alerts and analytics that give adminscomprehensive cross-domain of their virtual server storageenvironment. EMC said it is working with its VMware subsidiary to tightlyintegrate VNX storage UI with the analytics of vCenter OperationsManagement Suite. The company will extend its VNX storage softwareportfolio with the addition of the EMC Storage Analytics Suite thatis based on VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite.
EMC's VNX unified storage systems will also be integrated withVMware vCenter Operations Management Suite via the new EMC VNXConnector, enabling a single, end-to-end view of IT infrastructureswith EMC VNX storage. The EMC VNX Storage Analytics Suite and EMC VNX Connector forVMware vCenter Operations Management Suite are expected to begenerally available in the second half of 2012. EMC introduced its AppSync application, offering a self-service,SLA-driven approach for protecting virtualized Microsoftapplications supported by VNX arrays. After defining their own service plans, users can set policies forbackup of production data as well as recovery. AppSync also provides an application protection monitoring servicethat generates alerts when the SLAs are not met.
When VNX'ssnapshots are used with AppSync, they can be used to quicklyprovision copies of production data for application development andtesting. EMC Isilon OneFS upgrade EMC also announced the next version of its Isilon OneFS scale-outNAS operating system, code named Mavericks. The clustered NASsystem now has new levels of data protection, security, systemperformance, as well as interoperability, the company said. OneFS Mavericks is being designed to enable enterprises to extendthe scalability EMC Isilon storage systems to a broader range ofenterprise applications and infrastructure environments -- largehome directories, for example.
The new OneFS NAS system has 90% greater throughput than ispredecessor, or a maximum of 740GB/sec compared with 390GB/secpreviously, Burton said. "So we think that it's the highest single-file system throughput inthe industry, bar none," he said. "We think it's roughly 20 timesfaster than traditional NAS." The OneFS Mavericks OS offers roles-based administration of thefile systems, allows the creation of more secure "isolated" storagevolumes to prevent unauthorized access to data. The new accesscontrol help users comply with rules such as the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission's 17a-4 requirements, which covers electronic communications and datastorage.
Isilon's new OS is also expected to reduce a users recovery pointobjective and recovery time objective for mission criticalapplications, offering "near real-time" restoration of snapshotbackups to recover critical files in the event of error or systemfailure. The Isilon hardware platform also got an improvement to its cachingcapability, offering a 50% reduction in average latency for I/Ointensive apps. The file system also received a 25% boost inperformance, and it can now deliver over 100GB/sec. of systemthroughput.
It is capable of delivering up to 1.6 millionSpecSFS2008 CIFS operations per second. In addition, Isilon will provide a dramatically improved cachingcapability to reduce average latency by 50% for I/O intensiveapplications. OneFS Mavericks also comes with additional integration with VMware.It now leverages VMware's vStorage APIs for Array Integration(VAAI) and VMware vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) toaccelerate and simplify Scale-Out NAS for virtualized serverenvironments. "Mavericks" will also incorporate a new Platform APIto provide third-party independent software vendors and enterpriseIT with a more robust automation and control interface to OneFS.
EMC's ATMOS cloud storage software Completing EMC's cloud storage direction is its Atmos pre-configured private cloud offering , which made up of products from six hardware and software vendors. Atmos now scales to 100PB of capacity as single cloud system acrossdistributed sites. A hardware refresh has given Atmos a 50%performance boost (for both reads and writes) for large objects anda 90% reduction in the time to upgrade the system -- with noservice disruption, EMC said. Atmos now has new segmentation and security features to provide theability to separate management and data traffic for users andadministrators.
A new Event Manager tool, also improves system visibility andprovides enhanced alerting, providing near real-time visibilityinto overall system activity and performance, EMC said. "We've seen a lot of interest in Atmos, particularly from serviceproviders wanting to offer storage as a service as a competitor toan Amazon S3," Burton said. "The key use for Atmos ... is for[companies] who've got lots of data that needs to be globallydistributed." Data Domain and Avamar backup upgrades EMC's Data Domain backup and deduplication appliance and its Avamarbackup software also received some upgrades. EMC introduced a new Data Domain appliance, the DD990, which sportsan Intel Sandy Bridge processor.
The high-end DD 990 appliance willnow have twice the performance and capacity over its predecessor, the DD890 , Burton said. The DD890 has up to 14.2PB capacity when considering the amount ofdata it can deduplicate. That box had a maximum throughput of 8.1TBper hour. That means the DD990 has about 28PB of capacity throughthe use of deduplication and a maximum of 16TB per hour ofthroughput. "We think we're roughly six times faster than our closestcompetitor on performance," Burton said.
"The interesting thingabout Data Domain, the reason it's been able to keep ahead of thecompetition is that it's very CPU intensive. So typically when wesee a new processor come along, we'll immediately take advantage ofthat additional power." EMC's announced a new iteration of its backup software, Avamar,which is now more tightly integrated with VMware, giving it asignificant boost performance. Avamar 6.1 expands its support forMicrosoft Hypver-V for backup of virtual server environments. Avamar now also supports SAP, Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server 2012and has enhanced support for Oracle database backup.
Burton said the new software is now three times faster than EMC'sclosest competitor: Symantec. "Even more staggering is if you lookat the recovery of a VM, our testing shows we're 30 times faster. Atypical VM, they can recover in a minute; we can recovery it inabout two seconds," he said. Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and businesscontinuity, financial services infrastructure and health care ITfor Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed.
His e-mail address is . See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com . Read more about storage hardware in Computerworld's Storage Hardware Topic Center.
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