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EMC rains on Pillar's parade

Adds 2TB drives to CLARiiON and Celerra

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Strangely, on the day Pillar formally announces its faster Axiom with boosted controller performance, EMC has announced denser CLARiiON and Celerra arrays with 2TB drive support.

The higher-density CLARiiON CX4s have double the capacity of existing systems in half the floorspace, due to a new rack design. They support 2TB SATA drives and drive spin-down which, with the 2TB drive's lower power needs, cuts overall energy consumption.

EMC says the new configurations offer full access to all disk drives from the front of the rack. A sliding design enables the front enclosures to be moved forward, providing easy access to enclosures and drives in a second ‘slide out’ tier.

The new CX4 arrays can hold up to 390 2TB drives, spinning at either 5,400 or 7,200rpm - the same spin speeds as Pillar's 2TB drives - meaning 780TB of raw storage capacity and solid state drives (SSD) in a single rack. A Celerra gateway box sits in front of a CX4, so to speak, and provides CIFS and NFS access to the new arrays.

Existing CX4 120, 240, 480 and 960 arrays also support 2TB drives and come in single, dual and triple rack configurations respectively. EMC hasn't named any of the new CX4 configurations, so we'll refer to one as the CX4 390 for convenience. In capacity terms, this CX4 390 sits between the CX4 240 and 480 and, as it's a single rack configuration, could be viewed as more or less replacing the 240 product, although EMC has not announced any end of life for the 240.

It or a smaller sibling might also replace the CX4 120 half-rack system, although that may well remain as a low-cost entry point.

The new CX4s support 1TB drives as well as 2TB ones, and EMC says its fully-automated storage tiering (FAST) will put the right data in the right drive tier so was to not waste storage space and expense by filling fast-response media with low access-rate data.

The denser CX4s are available now, with the Celerra gateways becoming available for them later this year. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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