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EMC Clariion users make wish list

Beth Pariseau

BOSTON -- The next release of Clariion remained shrouded in mystery at EMC World this week, despite indications that it will be released next month and frequent references to it by EMC's CEO Joe Tucci.

In last week's earnings call Tucci said lagging Clariion sales could be accounted for by users waiting for the new release and said at a press briefing Tuesday that "it's not going to be just a refresh -- it's going to be a significant jump."

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Zajko Franc, a storage integrator at Comparex, a reseller in Germany, said he'd been given a release date of May 12. He also said he'd gotten a look at the product, and that it was "just bigger and faster, basically." Other rumors about "Sledghammer" have included end-to-end 4 Gbps Fibre Channel support, 500 GB drives and a major upgrade to the Flare OS code that runs the Clariion.

To some of the users at EMC World, "bigger and faster" sounded good. Michael Hailu, manager of the messaging team for Citizen's Bank, said he uses his CX300, 500 and 700 arrays primarily for Exchange storage.

"We're always looking for more cache, more ports," he said. "Especially more ports, to accommodate all our Exchange servers and allow us to put in more hosts. But Exchange also saps memory."

Paul McMurray, storage manager for Zurich Financial Services, a division of Farmer's Insurance, uses six CX700's over three data centers, as well as a handful of CX600s, 500s and 300s spread over those sites. Combined with the Symmetrix 1000, 2000 and 3000, McMurray says Zurich Financial has almost a petabyte of EMC storage capacity spread over several different SAN environments.

With regard to Clariion, McMurray said, "I'd be looking for them to add processors. Right now there are just two in every model -- we're looking for them to possibly double their number of connections, for better performance."

Word has it the new Clariion's will remain dual-processor systems, so he might be disappointed.

Mark S. Yamnicky, Unix systems engineer for Boeing Technology in Los Angeles, who uses three CX500's and three CX700's spread across three campuses, said it was Clariion's SnapView feature that could use the most improvement. Yamnicky said that with multiple disaster recovery (DR) sites spread all over the country, he wishes SnapView would allow him to do one-to-many snapshots instead of one to one.

"You can crank it out, but it's easier said than done," he said. "For DR purposes, I wish there was the option in the GUI to update multiple snapshot volumes at once."

Stewart Jorgenson, a storage manager for MoneyGram International, the main competitor for Western Union Financial Services Inc., said that with the SnapView software, "directions can be cryptic. With MirrorView, which we've been using longer, if you right click on something it'll give you some directions. SnapView isn't as clean yet."

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