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EMC forges secret VMAXe arrray

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EMC's VMAXe box – an affordable and self-tuning entry-level VMAX, providing tier one storage features – has been stealthily released inside EMC, with a public unveiling planned for mid-July. Today, we had a peek behind the curtain.

EMC says the box it's optimised for virtual computing. VMAXe, fitting below VMAX but above the VNX arrays, offers the same "multi-controller, scale-out architecture for enterprise reliability, availability, and serviceability" as VMAX with the same Virtual Matrix Architecture, but it has a reduced feature set. This includes:

VMAXe

  • Factory pre-configured and 100 percent virtually provisioned: More-efficient storage administration efficiency with automated LUN storage allocation
  • Bundled software: Faster and easier ordering with bundles of EMC’s most popular software titles
  • EMC RecoverPoint Splitter for remote replication
  • EMC TimeFinder for Symmetrix VMAXe for local replication
  • Single-day setup
  • Enginuity 5875 Q2 Service Release Enhancements for VMAX

The core software is Enginuity with virtual provisioning and the RecoverPoint splitter. Bundled software includes the FAST suite with FAST VP and the Symmetrix management package (Management Console and Performance Analyzer) plus the Symmetrix Migration Suite (Open Replicator/Live Migration, Federated Live Migration and Open Migrator), TimeFinder for VMXe, and Power Path SE.

The optional software set is RecoverPoint/EX, Replication Manager, Ionix ControlCenter, Ionix Storage Configuration Advisor, and the full version of PowerPath.

Enginuity 5875 Q2 SR includes: 10 Gbit/s Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE); fully Automated Storage Tiering for Virtual Pools (FAST VP) enhancements with support for improved time windows for performance and relocation data, viewable through the Symmetrix Management Console or the Symmetrix Command Line Interface (SymCLI); Federated Live Migratio n enhancements; and security enhancements.

EMC is also bringing out enhancements for the Symmetrix Management Console and Symmetrix Performance Analyzer, plus some new mainframe capabilities.

EMC says that a VMXE system can arrive on your premises and four hours later is delivering the first I/O to its hosts. A terabyte of storage can be provisioned in less than four minutes.

Speeds and feeds

A single VMAXe engine has two quad-core, 2.4GHz XEON processors, 96GB of cache memory, up to 64 Fibre Chanel ports or 32 1 or 10Gbit iSCSI or 10Gbit E FCOE ports. It has two VMAXe directors plus redundant interfaces to the Virtual Matrix interconnect, the RapidIO fabric. The engine consolidates front end functions, global memory, and backend functions, with direct memory access to data to speed I/O operations. Up to four VMAXe engines can be joined together by multiple active fabrics. The engines can be added non-disruptively to provide scale-out of resources.

The VMAXe engine can support from 24 drives up to 240 drives. The maximum 4-engine configuration supports up to 960 drives, which provide up to 1.3PB of capacity. The maxed out configuration has four 19-inch system racks and two storage ones. An engine and system rack can hold 150 drives with a storage rack holding 180.

The drives can be 4Gbit/s dual-port Fibre Channel drives (450GB 15K, and 600GB 10K), 200GB enterprise flash drives or 2TB, 7.2K SATA disks, all with two independent I/O channels, automatic failover and fault isolation.

IPV6 support is available with 10GbitE. VMAXe requires single phase power. It does not feature encryption or hardware compression and lacks SRDF and IBM Mainframe and i Series support. VMAX itself provides more performance and has higher capacity.

VMAXe has what EMC calls flat fee per-TB pricing but we have no visibility into that and all will be revealed in mid-July. ®

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