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EMC Blitzes High-End NAS Market With New Gateway

The Celerra NSX network-attached-storage gateway can accommodate up to eight X-Blades, for a maximum system capacity of 112 terabytes.

EMC unveiled Monday a new high-end NAS platform and lots of new software to accelerate performance and make the gateway easier to manage.

The Celerra NSX network attached storage (NAS) can accommodate up to eight X-Blades, with each blade supporting up to 16 terabytes of usable capacity, for a maximum system capacity of 112 terabytes. Customers will most likely deploy them in a 7+1 configuration for failover, said Tom Joyce, vice president of storage platforms marketing for EMC, adding that customers needn't fill up all the blade slots.

Its multi-terabyte capacity enables the NSX to handle up to 300,000 NFS operations per second, which the vendor claims is four times as fast as its nearest competitor.

In addition, the new Celerra software helps NAS management capabilities scale better for high-end requirements, and new virtual filesystem technology makes simplifies management as NAS capacity grows, presenting multiple independent filesystems as a single, virtual system for easier manageability, according to Joyce.

New Celerra software also enables automated volume management with a GUI that lets customers optimize configurations using predefined workload characteristics. This capability dramatically reduces planning and management tasks.

The vendor also unveiled Centera FileArchiver software for policy-based data management and movement, permitting customers to migrate static data directly to other Centera resources.

Depending on who you ask, the NSX is either the response to or the impetus for recent cooperation between IBM and Network Appliance. Under the terms of that deal, IBM will OEM NetApp's entire product line of NAS and iSCSI IP-SAN solutions, while NetApp will make IBM's Tivoli software its preferred backup solution.

All NSX components are redundant and hot-swappable components, and feature N+1 clustering, dual control stations and dual uninterrupted power supplies (UPS). Its support for RAID 3 data protection means it's well suited for multimedia applications. EMC said.

"With most NAS platforms, vendors put in dual control stations and UPSes into a single box, but this N+1 redundancy means you can grow as needed," said Randy Kerns, senior partner with the Evaluator Group, a Greenwood Village, Colo., consultancy. And it's the sort of flexibility that should play well among the midrange and high-end customers for which the NSX is intended, he added.

Celerra NSX will be available next month; a four-blade system lists for $278,250.

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