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EMC upgrades Symmetrix as part of overhaul

EMC has upgraded all its disc arrays and network-attached storage (Nas) devices, as well as some of its key storage management...

EMC has upgraded all its disc arrays and network-attached storage (Nas) devices, as well as some of its key storage management applications.

The roll-out includes the second generation of EMC's high-end Symmetrix DMX arrays, which debuted last February. Raw storage capacity remains unchanged at 84TBytes, but EMC said it increased the speed of the processor built into the arrays to 1GHz, doubled the amount of cache memory to 256GBytes and added 15,000 rpm fibre channel disc drives.

EMC is also introducing an NS700 Nas device with a file server head that can be removed and used as a gateway between servers and storage area networks, in addition to upgraded models of its Clariion midrange arrays.

The latest hardware and software supports EMC's emerging information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy, which is designed to provide tools that can migrate data to different types of storage devices automatically and manage it from creation to deletion.

EMC said one of the key ILM-related upgrades being announced is the addition of support for the Storage Management Interface Specification to its management software.

SMI-S is a set of common models and protocols designed to let storage management applications control storage devices made by different hardware suppliers. EMC is adding SMI-S compliance to Symmetrix models that date to 1997, and to Clariion arrays from 2000 on, said Chuck Hollis, vice-president of platform marketing.

Peter Gerr, an analyst at Enterprise Storage Group, said SMI-S support is important for EMC because some of its top storage rivals have already announced compliant products.

Gerr added that he was impressed by EMC's ability to choreograph a complete product relaunch while it absorbs three major software suppliers it has either bought or agreed to acquire since July.

"Anyone who thought their binge of software acquisitions was going to distract them from their bread-and-butter business of selling world-class storage systems is wrong," he said. "This reinforces the fact that they're still a storage company."

Lucas Mearian writes for Computerworld

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