EMC delivers automated storage tiering with FAST

By Kevin Komiega

-- EMC is making good on its promise to automate storage tiering across Fibre Channel, SATA and solid-state disk (SSD) storage with today's debut of the company's fully automated storage tiering (FAST) technology for use across all of EMC's primary storage platforms.

The FAST software automates the movement of data across multiple storage tiers based upon business policies, predictive models and real-time access patterns. EMC hopes the FAST feature will further accelerate the adoption of flash drives by letting users more effectively mix the performance of flash drives with Fibre Channel and SATA drives.

EMC claims that, in an average configuration, the combination of FAST technology with flash and SATA drives can deliver higher service levels and reduce acquisition costs by 20% or more while lowering annual operational expenses by more than 40%.

EMC originally announced its FAST plans in conjunction with the launch of the Symmetrix V-Max system last April. However, FAST isn't just for V-Max. Today's "first phase" of FAST technology is available immediately for new and existing Symmetrix V-Max and Clariion CX4 networked storage systems, as well as Celerra NS unified storage systems.

EMC hopes FAST will accelerate the adoption of flash-based solid-state disks (SSDs) as a high-performance storage tier.

"FAST will take up the heavy lifting associated with manual storage tiering. The automation is going to help make it easier to apply flash across a wider range of applications," says Scott Delandy, EMC's senior product manager, storage marketing.

EMC plans to add to FAST in the coming months. Delandy says EMC will integrate more advanced capabilities, including sub-LUN tiering, capacity allocation on demand, block- and file-level deduplication, data compression, drive spin-down, built-in archiving, and private and public cloud federation under the FAST umbrella.

EMC plans to roll out additional iterations of the FAST technology beginning in 2010.

FAST can be added to existing systems or packaged with new arrays. Delandy says the software is priced by capacity, with an entry-level cost of about $5,000 and a high-end price of about $22,000.

Related articles:
EMC unveils new Symmetrix architecture, systems
Symmetrix V-Max: EMC's big play for big data centers
EMC Symmetrix V-Max - 24xForever storage for virtualized data centers

This article was originally published on December 08, 2009