EMC Accelerates Flash Storage Performance with New Offerings

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    EMC is changing the way that its storage systems interact with flash storage to deliver new VNX midrange storage systems that are four times faster than the previous generation of EMC’s storage offerings.

    In addition, EMC is previewing Project Nile, an approach to unified storage that leverages the EMC ViPR software-defined storage platform and VNX systems to allow IT organizations to dynamically configure and allocate block, file and object-based storage. Scheduled to be available in 2014, the core element of Project Nile is the data management capabilities EMC developed for ViPR that allow IT organizations to manage storage much like an elastic private cloud.

    According to Eric Herzog, EMC senior vice president of product management and marketing for the EMC Unified Storage Division, the controllers in the latest generation of VNX systems assume the presence of solid-state drives (SSDs) within a hybrid storage system made up of both Flash and magnetic storage systems.

    That change in approach, coupled with much greater optimization of multicore Intel processors provided by MCx software, says Herzog, allows EMC to deliver not only storage systems that are four times faster, but the cost per IOPs delivered by the system continues to drop as the overall size of the system continues to scale. At the same time, inactive data is automatically moved to magnetic storage.

    In addition, EMC is also unveiling a Flash-only configuration of a VNX system that scales to 400TB while providing 500,000 8K IOPs, which EMC will sell alongside an all Flash array that is due out later this year.

    At the high end of the VNX lineup, storage systems are now capable of supporting up to six petabytes of data at speeds of up to 30GB of bandwidth per second, which Herzog says can support 6,600 virtual machines. Herzog says EMC is now including block-level data deduplication with VNX systems at no charge.

    EMC is also releasing XtremSW Cache 2.0, which improves performance in certain higher-end server environments and is now more tightly integrated with VMware vCenter and EMC Unisphere software.

    For the majority of IT organizations, the move to Flash storage will involve a mix of SSDs and magnetic storage. But based on the nature of application workloads and amount of data involved, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the right mix of primary storage is going to be at any given level of IOPs performance.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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