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Fujitsu gives Eternus 8 gig FC support, performance bump

Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. adds performance, capacity and 8 gig Fibre Channel (FC) support to its midrange and enterprise Eternus SAN systems, but holds off on solid-state drives (SSDs).

Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. has upgraded its enterprise and midrange Eternus SAN systems, adding 8 Gbps Fibre Channel (FC) support, as well as speeds and feeds upgrades.

The enterprise Eternus8000 series has two new models. The 1200 model replaces the previous 900 and 1100 models, while the 2200 replaces the 2100 model in the series. The 1200 model supports up to four controllers and 1,020 drives for 783 TB of usable capacity. The 2200 model uses up to 8 controllers, and supports up to 2.1 petabytes (PB). Fujitsu also increased the 2200's cache from 256 GB to 512 GB. The 1200 has up to 256 GB of cache capacity.

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The midrange Eternus4000 also has two models: the 400 and 600. Both are two-controller systems, with the 400 scaling to 210 drives or 147 TB of usable capacity, and the 600 scaling to 240 drives or 298 TB.

The new systems use quad-core processors to speed performance, and allow customers to mix 8 Gbps FC and iSCSI host channels in the same box.

"The net of this [announcement] is that we're increasing the performance of our midrange and high-end storage systems," says Jim DeCaires, Fujitsu Computer Systems' storage product marketing manager. "Customers will probably realize anywhere from a 1.5 and up type of performance boost in their data centers."

Fujitsu didn't change its Eternus2000 SMB series that launched last October.

Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at Stillwater, MN-based StorageIO Group, says the addition of 8 Gbps support makes sense because "that's the direction the industry is going. Now people can pick out a storage system and know they have flexibility with how they attach it to [the] network and servers." Schulz says the 8 Gbps support gives companies the "flexibility to use what they have, but still leverage tiered access."

One storage tier that Fujitsu isn't ready to offer yet is solid-state drives (SSDs), which EMC Corp. is selling now and nearly every other storage vendor says it will support this year. DeCaires says SSD support is not a high priority for Fujitsu customers yet.

"We're not getting demand for solid state, but we're getting questions," he says. "It's becoming a checkmark. We haven't lost any business because of it, but we're talking about it. It's expensive, and there are large caches out there. We're doubling cache [on the 2200], and these large caches give you the opportunity to lock in a lot of applications in the caches."

DeCaires says Fujitsu has firm plans to add thin provisioning to the Eternus platform this year.

Pricing starts at $39,000 for an Eternus4000 configured with dual controllers, dual power and four FC server connections.

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