Symmetrix V-Max: EMC’s big play for big data centers

April 14, 2009 -- There has been a fair amount of speculation that EMC would launch a new Symmetrix DMX-5 system, but while the company's latest high-end array shares the Symmetrix moniker, it's a completely different platform with an architecture built for virtualized data centers.

InfoStor's coverage of the EMC Virtual Matrix Architecture and Symmetrix V-Max Storage System launch outlines the technology, EMC's plans and how it all relates to cloud computing.

The architecture combines scale-up and scale-out capabilities with centralized management and (forthcoming) automated tiering of SSDs, Fibre Channel and SATA drives. The Symmetrix V-Max is significantly bigger and faster than the DMX-4, but has been specifically designed to support enormous cloud computing and virtual data center infrastructures.

David Vellante, co-founder and contributor to The Wikibon Project, says customers should take this announcement very seriously, especially if they have existing Symmetrix processes in place.

"To the extent EMC delivers on its vision, the V-Max will bring incremental strategic value to many customers and will represent a longer term investment platform. Specifically, the possibility of doing automated tiered storage within a federated Symmetrix infrastructure could be very cost competitive and advantageous if EMC can ship enough volume and – very importantly – ship software that automates the placement of data on the most cost-effective tier," says Vellante. "This software is not here today and that's important."

The software – EMC's Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) technology – is expected to debut later this year, according to EMC. It is touted as a feature that will automatically move data to appropriate tiers of storage within the Virtual Matrix Architecture. This is especially significant as EMC tries to speed the adoption of solid-state disk (SSD) drives as "tier zero" storage for frequently accessed data in high performance applications.

"The problem folks are having is they really don't have an automated way to move data between T1 and T2. So if EMC can give them a way to do that all within a single architecture from Tier 0 down to Tier 3 with high capacity SATA that gets interesting. But again, the software to do this is not here today, the [Virtual Matrix Architecture announcement] is the first step," says Vellante.

The industry reaction is sure to come fast and furious as the details of V-Max reverberate through the storage landscape. Stay with InfoStor's coverage of the announcement as Editor-in-Chief Dave Simpson adds his two cents to the discussion.

We have also posted a V-Max Lab Review from Enterprise Strategy Group to our ESG Lab Validation section found here.

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posted by: Kevin Komiega

Kevin Komiega, Senior Editor
by Kevin Komiega
Senior Editor

Kevin Komiega has been the Senior Editor of InfoStor since 2005. He was previously a senior news writer with SearchStorage.com and held a position as a public relations account executive with Porter Novelli, Boston. Kevin also spent four years running tape backup operations at the University of Rhode Island's Academic Computer Center. He can be contacted at kkomiega@quinstreet.com.

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