Bigger And Faster Rules - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications
12:15 PM
Tony Kontzer
Tony Kontzer

Bigger And Faster Rules

EMC leads in size and speed at the high end of storage, but it's also improving low-end systems

For the moment, EMC is raising the bar for the storage world. A range of new products has it leading the way in speed and size of storage arrays while also introducing technology for low-cost IP storage capable of running critical business applications.

Businesses are cranking up their storage requirements as the amount of information they need to retain mushrooms. That adds complexity because it's becoming more difficult to connect applications with the data they need. As a result, companies increasingly turn to information-life-cycle management to make sure low-value information is moved to low-cost storage.

EMC's latest product announcements seek to further information-life-cycle strategies by providing an architecture that can store up to a petabyte of information on a single Symmetrix DMX-3 storage array and by removing the performance barriers that come with connecting application servers to multiple arrays.

EMC also introduced an entry-level configuration for the DMX-3, enabling customers to purchase an array with as few as 96 500-Gbyte Fibre Channel disk drives for as little as $250,000. The architecture allows for the arrays to be expanded to up to 2,400 drives with no disruption to applica-tions. The cost of such a high-end configuration would be in the millions.

The information-life-cycle features come with new capabilities allowing multitiered storage within a single array, designed to let companies more readily classify and structure the access to information according to its value and currency. Data that's needed frequently and rapidly can be stored on expensive, high-speed storage, while data that isn't needed as often or as quickly can be stored on slower and cheaper technology.

Ready For The Mainstream

On the IP storage front, EMC introduced file-system software called Multi-Path File System for iSCSi, which is designed to let IP storage systems run critical apps by moving data directly from file storage to an app server, thus bypassing the network-attached storage gateways that slow performance.

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