EMC has taken the wraps off a new, under-$12,000 array (starting price) aimed at the entry-level storage market, the VNXe3200.

The Hopkinton, Mass.-based enterprise data storage systems provider claims that the flash-enabled, virtualization-friendly hardware can provide storage for three times the virtual machines (VMs) than its predecessor in the same form factor. Virtual workloads and file performance are also subject to 3X performance gains.

Previously only available on more expensive VNX arrays, EMC stuffed the VNXe3200 with features like Fibre Channel (FC) host connectivity, FAST Cache for solid-state drive (SSD) caching and FAST VP for automated tiering. The company’s MCx multicore processing technology leverages a 2.2 GHz processor to provide support for up to 125 VMs, 600 virtual desktops and 2,500 Exchange users.

Supported protocols include NFS, CIFS and SMB3 on the file storage side and iSCSI or FC for block storage. VNXe’s included storage management software features data deduplication, compression and thin provisioning.

EMC’s VNXe3200 is expected to start shipping in the current second quarter.

Moving up to the midrange storage market, the company announced Data-At-Rest-Encryption for VNX (D@RE). Aimed at high-security industries like healthcare, finance and federal and state government agencies, the tech, formerly available only on high-end VMAX arrays, employs controller-based encryption to safeguard data in the event of stolen or lost drives. VNX D@RE will be available in the third quarter as a software upgrade.

In a dig at the company’s rivals, Jeff Boudreau, senior vice president and general manager of EMC’s Enterprise and Mid-Range Systems unit, said in a blog post that D@RE “…allows the option of turning on encryption, non-disruptively, at any point in time” even after the array is populated with data. “Contrast this with the approach from most other mid-range array vendors that support data-at-rest encryption through Self-Encrypting Drives.”

Finally, EMC lifted the curtain a little on new storage virtualization software called Project Liberty. The goal is to deliver VNX data services and storage management as a virtual server or hybrid cloud service.

With the software, businesses won’t have to wait for storage to catch up to their rapid development cycles. “One use case for Project Liberty will be to empower IT to spin up several virtual array instances quickly, at a moment’s notice, to speed development of new applications such as test and development,” boasted the company in a statement.