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2003 GOLD: EMC Symmetrix DMX

Review of 2003 Disk & disk subsystems gold medal winner EMC's Symmetrix DMX.


It's innovative, fast and it's full-featured. That, in a nutshell, is what our panel of judges had to say about EMC Corp.'s Symmetrix DMX. And to top it all off, they said it's reasonably priced, given the level of performance and reliability it delivers. The Symmetrix DMX family, first introduced in February 2003, is EMC's sixth version of its flagship monolithic array.

The DMX family ranges from the entry-level 800 model to the mammoth DMX 3000, which supports up to 576 disk drives, or 84TB of raw capacity. Add-ons include EMC's usual suite of software, including synchronous data replication suite, SRDF, SRDF/Asynchronous, as well as EMC Snap, the first copy-on-write snapshot capability for a high-end array. Connectivity includes Fibre Channel (FC), ESCON, FICON and even iSCSI -- a first for high-end storage.

In particular, the judges admired EMC's new approach to its cache architecture. In a departure from the old Symmetrix bus architecture, EMC has built Symmetrix DMX around a so-called "direct matrix" architecture -- dedicated point-to-point connections between the front end and the back ends (disk drives). That ties into the new Symmetrix's main selling point: performance. "Symmetrix DMX is a good choice for shops requiring the highest performance and reliability," said one judge.

Hats off to EMC for Symmetrix DMX's pricing as well. In the old days, Symmetrix was practically synonymous with exorbitant prices. Now, pricing for Symmetrix DMX is merely "competitive" says one judge, assuming "you know how to work with EMC."

Disk & Disk subsystem runners-up

  • Silver: Xiotech Magnitude 3D
  • Bronze: Network Appliance FAS200 Series

    Back to complete listing of winners

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