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Vol. 5 No. 1 March 2006

EMC takes the HighRoad (again)

A LOT HAS CHANGED since 2000 when EMC announced HighRoad, a high-performance add-on for its Celerra NAS platform. But until last month, the product, also known as Multi-Path File System (MPFS), hadn't changed much at all, and it appears never to have made a strong showing in the marketplace. But in a tip of the hat to Ethernet's growing pervasiveness in the data center, EMC has launched an iSCSI version of HighRoad named MPFSi. "There are a lot of sites out there that don't have a Fibre Channel [FC] infrastructure, for example, ISPs," says Ken Steinhardt, EMC's director of technology analysis. However, faster file serving than what straight Celerra can give them may still be needed. With the new MPFSi, file requests are passed to Celerra via NFS but, depending on the data being requested, they're passed back with either NFS or iSCSI, for up to four times the performance, says Steinhardt. In contrast, the original MPFS passes block data back over FC or SCSI. "It's a classic case of separating out the data path from the control ...

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