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EMC VMAX Series storage arrays

The EMC VMAX is a family of SAN arrays designed for enterprise environments requiring large amounts of storage.

The EMC VMAX Series is a family of large enterprise storage arrays designed for SAN environments. It is sold in...

three models -- the VMAX 10K, 20K and 40K -- each with increasing levels of capacity and connectivity. Unlike the majority of SAN storage options that offer separate block- and file-level products, the EMC VMAX Series offers a single VMAX 10K Block and File unit for combined block- and file-level workloads.

The VMAX 10K holds up to 1,560 drives, yielding a maximum usable capacity of 1.5 petabytes (PB) in a variety of configurations. It can fit 3.5-inch Fibre Channel (FC) drives and 2.5-inch serial-attached SCSI (SAS) drives with rotary speeds of 15,000 revolutions per minute (15K rpm). It also supports 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch 10,000 (10K) rpm SAS drives and 7.2K rpm nearline SAS drives.

The EMC VMAX Series offers a single VMAX 10K Block and
File unit for combined block- and file-level workloads.

The EMC VMAX 10K supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch enterprise flash drives, which include technologies to support increased flash reliability and endurance such as write leveling and overprovisioning. It has a global cache of 512 GB, and runs up to eight six-core 2.8 GHz Intel Xeon processors. The 10K has up to 64 ports per array, which can be used as 8-gigabit per second (Gbps) FC and lower. Alternatively, 32 ports per array can be used as 16 Gbps FC or lower, 10 Gbps iSCSI or lower, or 10 Gbps Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).

The VMAX 20K fits up to 3,200 2.5-inch drives or 2,400 3.5-inch drives for a maximum usable capacity of 2 PB. It supports 3.5-inch 10K SAS drives and 15K FC drives, as well as 2.5-inch 10K and 15K SAS drives. It also supports 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch 7.2K nearline SAS drives and flash drives.

The 20K has a global cache of up to 1.024 TB, runs up to 32 quad-core 2.33 GHz Xeon processors, and supports a maximum of 128 ports per array. These can be configured as 128 8 Gbps FC or lower, 64 8 Gbps Fibre Connectivity (FICON) or lower, 32 8 Gbps FC remote replication, 32 10 Gbps Ethernet (GbE) or lower remote replication, 64 10 Gbps iSCSI or lower, or 64 10 Gbps FCoE.

The VMAX 40K is the largest capacity unit of the three, with up to 4 PB of usable capacity. It fits up to 3,200 2.5-inch drives or 2,400 3.5-inch drives. It has the same interconnect support as the VMAX 20K, and a maximum cache of 2.048 TB. It runs up to 32 six-core 2.8 GHz Xeon processors and supports up to 128 ports. These can be split the same way as the VMAX 20K.

All three units support RAID in configurations 1, 5 and 6. The VMAX 10K Block and File unit has many of the same specifications as the 10K model. It supports 1.5 PB of usable capacity, but in 1,460 drives.

Pricing for the EMC VMAX Series is confidential, but pricing tables suggest the 10K will cost approximately $100,000, the 20K approximately $150,000 and the 40K more than $200,000. EMC maintains a support hotline and a live chat for all its products.

Next Steps

Read more about buying a SAN system

EMC adds backup, cloud features to VMAX Series arrays

Guide to provisioning and managing SANs with LUNs

EMC sees decline in revenue from storage arrays

This was last published in April 2015

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Which, if any, of the EMC VNX series arrays support your purchase criteria?
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So what happens when you buy one of the lower-end ones and it fills up? Is there a graceful migration path or are you talking about a forklift upgrade?
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Hi Sharon. EMC Services offers data migration capability for the VMAX arrays, though this is separate from the array itself and any software bundles it includes.
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