The prognostication and speculation is at an end. On Monday, EMC Corp., Hopkinton, Mass., put to bed the rumors and industry buzz around its latest Symmetrix storage array with the debut of Symmetrix DMX, the sixth and latest version of the company's flagship storage system.
And while the storage giant's new architecture is being praised by a number of analysts who say this product is enough of a technology improvement to rattle competitors, some users say it still doesn't have enough meat.
The Symmetrix DMX series is based on EMC's new Direct Matrix architecture, an interconnect design that uses up to 128 point-to-point connections between cache memory and the front-end and back-end controllers. The DMX architecture was built to eliminate bottlenecks that choked earlier Symmetrix bus architectures.
"The secret sauce in this announcement is the Direct Matrix," said EMC's president and CEO, Joe Tucci. "First came the bus, then came the switch and now there's the Matrix, which has unparalleled scalability," Tucci said during the company's press conference Monday.
Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst, Enterprise Storage Group Inc., Milford, Mass., said this product will let EMC "take back the pole position when it comes to speeds and feeds."
"Competitors, who have done a great job stealing share over the last few years by rightfully arguing that the Symmetrix architecture was old and gray, won't have that to go to war with anymore," Duplessie said. "Now they will have to outsell and out-market EMC, and that to me is harder to do than to compete on technology."
The Symmetrix DMX Series is available in three models, the DMX800, DMX1000 and DMX2000.
The DMX800 is a rack-mounted system that scales from 8 to 16 front-end ports, from 1.2 to17.5 terabytes (TB) of capacity and from 4 to 32 GB of cache.
The DMX1000 is a single-bay integrated system that scales from 8 to 48 ports, from 3.5 to 21 TB of storage capacity and from 4 to 64 GB of cache.
The DMX2000 is a dual-bay system that scales from 8 to 96 front-end ports. The DMX2000 has between 7 and 42 TB storage capacity and 8 to 128 GBs of cache.
The Direct Matrix architecture can support more than 2,048 hard drives, according to EMC.
"We've come up with the first storage architecture that's non-blocking, which means there's no sharing," said David Donatelli, executive vice president of storage platforms operations. "We now have the world's fastest RAID system."
Donatelli said the DMX systems shipping today are capable of having a bandwidth of 64 GB/sec. "If we want to grow it, all we have to do is add more boards to get more bandwidth," he said.
According to EMC, Symmetrix DMX systems will be compliant with CIM/Bluefin management tools when they become available in 2003. The Symmetrix DMX series can also be managed by EMC ControlCenter software.
All Symmetrix DMX systems are available immediately. Support for FICON mainframe connectivity will be available in the third quarter of 2003. List prices range from $409,000 to $2.5 million and vary based on configuration. Let us know what you think about the story. E-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer
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