Face-Off: EMC DMX-3 vs. Hitachi USP1100


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HDS claims that the USP delivers 2.5 million IOPS and 68GB/sec of bandwidth. The USP has a raw capacity of 332TB of internal storage for open-systems environments (assuming 300GB drives). But the next statistic is where the HDS USP1100 gets interesting: 32PB of externally attached capacity. This high number, almost unearthly in scope and to date not yet tested in production environments, is the most obvious way the USP architecture differs from the DMX-3.

The DMX-3 is EMC's flagship product in the Symmetrix family, and reigns as the largest high-performance storage array on the market, besting the internal capacity of the HDS USP with its raw capacity of 575TB for open-systems environments (again, assuming 300GB drives, using up to nine physical bays). The DMX can deliver from 32GB/sec to 128GB/sec of data bandwidth, support up to 64,000 logical devices, and can scale from 96 to 2,400 drives online. It all adds up to a very compelling capacity consolidation story.

IO, memory and performance
The HDS pitch: The USP is based on a very powerful crossbar switch architecture that separates control data and memory within its storage controllers. When combined with our approach to cache memory optimization, this networked storage controller makes the USP much more high performing than the DMX-3.

The EMC pitch: The

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DMX-3's point-to-point memory architecture delivers very high aggregate IO that can be fine-tuned for scalability and the highest possible performance across real-world workloads. The USP can't match this performance.

The real issue: Both companies have markedly different technological approaches to handling IO and memory. These differences provide the wiggle room to bash each other, encouraging users to question the other company's fundamental design principles.

This was first published in January 2007

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