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EMC is preparing its own clustered system and targeting it toward Web 2.0 companies. The hardware and software for the system is known by the code names Hulk and Maui, respectively.
But the systems from IBM and EMC won't sway as far from traditional storage architecture as do those from Xiotech and Atrato. Nextra was designed by XIV founder Moshe Yanai, who designed the EMC Symmetrix high-end warhorse.
IDC's Woo describes Nextra as "classic Moshe design. Throw enough cache and CPU at it and everything will be perfect," he says. "It's sort of a Symmetrix built on commodity parts. Moshe's systems are all focused around cache algorithms that deliver high performance."
EMC's clustered systems are harder to assess because the company hasn't given many details about the software yet. Industry buzz is that the first iteration will run software from EMC partner Ibrix until EMC gets its own clustered system running.
"Maui will be very software and compute intensive," says Woo. "The underlying disk is somewhat irrelevant. The value will be around industry-standard servers running intelligent software."
This was first published in June 2008