EMC adds high-end array and connectivity options

EMC has upgraded its Symmetrix DMX disc array line with a high-end model plus native support for IBM's Ficon mainframe...

EMC has upgraded its Symmetrix DMX disc array line with a high-end model plus native support for IBM's Ficon mainframe connectivity technology and the low-cost Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage interconnect.

The company also introduced the latest version of its Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) software which supports asynchronous replication of data across distances of thousands of miles for disaster recovery purposes, plus a local replication product called EMC Snap that can create point-in-time copies of storage volumes.

EMC said the DMX3000 high-end array will support up to 84TB of raw storage capacity and 73.5TB of usable space. The new model offers twice the capacity of EMC's existing DMX2000 array and is due to become available next month.

The SRDF/Asynchronous (SRDF/A) replication software is available immediately for use with all of the Symmetrix DMX arrays, as is EMC Snap. EMC said the built-in Ficon and iSCSI support is scheduled to be added in September.

The SRDF/A software can reduce bandwidth consumption by up to 30% by mirroring delta sets of data every 15 to 30 seconds instead of constantly updating information as it is written to disk drives, said Chuck Hollis, a vice president at EMC.

The company is also adding native Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to the SRDF technology for Symmetrix DMX, which lets users replicate data remotely without installing any channel conversion devices.

Chuck Standerfer, an analyst at Evaluator Group, said many EMC users have been waiting for Ficon support, which boosts peak throughput between the disc arrays and mainframes from 17MB/sec. with IBM's older Escon technology to 200MB/sec.

EMC said its new iSCSI ports will let systems administrators use IP-based SANs to attach low-end servers to Symmetrix DMX arrays for data backups. Such connections previously required Sans based on more costly Fibre Channel technology.

Lucas Mearian writes for Computerworld

Read more on IT strategy