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Storage fan seeks 'mature' cash cow for 'something more'

Oh VMAX we love you...

VMSAX detail

Storagebod blog It may come as a surprise to some people, especially reading this, but I quite like the Symmetrix (VMAX) as a platform. Sure, it's a bit long in the tooth - in marketing speak, "a mature platform". It's also a bit arcane at times - Symmetrix administrators sometimes speak a different language and use acronyms when a simple word might do. But it’s rock solid.

Unfortunately it appears to have been a bit of a cash cow for EMC. This means that many resent it and like to hold it up as an example of all that is wrong with EMC. I certainly have done in the past.

This is why it might end up being the most undersold and underrated product in "enterprise storage". Yet it could be so much more.

I think that there is a huge market for it in the data centres of the future - more so than EMC’s other "legacy" array in VNX. For many years, I thought that EMC should drop the Symmetrix and build up the Clariion (VNX) but I see now that I was wrong: EMC needs to drop the Clariion and shrink down the Symmetrix. It needs to produce a lower-end Symmetrix which can scale-out block much in the way that Isilon can scale-out file. Actually a smaller Isilon would be a good idea too - a three-node cluster that could fit into three or four U, presenting 20-40 terabytes.

In fact, for those customers who want it, perhaps a true VNX replacement using the Virtual Versions of the Symmetrix and Isilon might be the way to go ... although only if there is a seamless way to scale out.

I guess this will never happen apart from in the labs of the mad hackers because EMC appears to have a different plan which includes premium pricing for the Symmetrix ... which is a pity really. ®

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