Store More For Less
EMC's storage system offers high-end features
EMC Corp. hopes to convince IT executives to take midrange storage systems out of remote offices and put them in the main data center, where capacity and software functionality are as important as affordability.
It's doing so with a low-cost, highly functional midrange storage system. The Clariion CX 600, which EMC will unveil and ship this week, will store up to 17.5 terabytes of data, showing that the midrange isn't just departmental anymore. The CX 600 comes with four 2-GHz Intel Pentium 4-based CPUs to give it three times the processing power of its predecessor, 3.5 times the bandwidth, and more than 1,000 logical units where customers can store data for distinct applications. Pricing starts at $115,000. Dell Computer, Fujitsu, and Unisys will resell the CX 600.
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Competitors, including Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, and IBM, could quibble with EMC about performance, but high capacity and affordability set the CX 600 apart. Even more important, the CX 600 will run Power Path load-balancing and fault-detection software, a version of which already runs on EMC's high-end Symmetrix system. Symmetrix Remote Data Facility replication software will let CX 600 customers move data between locations across an IP network using MirrorView, the Clariion-specific replication product for business continuity. Before, MirrorView only worked across Fibre Channel or dense wavelength division multiplexing networks. A source familiar with EMC's plans expects it to unveil Symmetrix Remote Data Facility replication between a host Symmetrix device and remote Clariion systems as early as January.
The new MirrorView capability has caught Pat Marshall's attention. "I'm interested in anything to extend the distance of our remote location, using more tools and less people," says the data-center director at Fresenius Medical Care, a Lexington, Mass., health-care provider specializing in kidney dialysis at 1,100 U.S. clinics. Fresenius backs up data at a facility 35 miles from the data center operated by disaster-recovery vendor SunGard. He's eyeing a site 85 miles away where Fresenius can get space for $5 per square foot and mirror its data for less money than it pays SunGard.
EMC has the right idea with the standards-based Clariion systems, says Jon Oltsik, an analyst at Hype-Free Consulting. But he's waiting before giving any endorsements. Symmetrix has always been EMC's highlight, he says. "Does the CX 600 get equal footing?" he asks. "That's still an open question."