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EMC demotes VMAX into 'capacity tier'

Sits beneath new 'performance tier' in the storage hierarchy

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EMC Chief Technology Officer John Roese has all-but-demoted the company's Symmetrix VMAX arrays from their position atop the company's prow, today declaring the arrays are the biggest and baddest offering in a “capacity tier” of products that possess lesser grunt than a “performance tier” of products.

Speaking at the EMC Forum in Sydney, and to The Reg afterwards, Roese was at pains to point out that VMAX remains capable of handling petabytes of data, but that it does not have “a high storage compute affinity”. The performance tier does have that affinity, thanks to its heavy use of EMC's various flashy products.

“In the history of storage by and large, all enterprise class storage had distance between it and the compute entity,” Roese said. “What we are seeing now is a change thanks to advances in solid state memory and tiering you can put some of the storage in a new tier very close to the compute node.”

“It is not to say VMAX isn't a high performing system,” he said, but EMC's new definition of a “performance tier” excludes classical storage area networks.

Roese's reclassification isn't bad news for VMAX, he said, as EMC's ViPR will be able to treat it as an object store thanks to modules that let it emulate EMC's Atmos or Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).

ViPR can do the same for EMC's mid-range VNX arrays, which Roese said in his keynote “will see a major refresh within weeks”. Pressed later, he refused to offer a single detail on the refreshed range, but said teasers will emerge before too much time has passed.

Vulture South's betting on three weeks before the hints start: VMworld San Francisco takes place in two weeks and EMC will probably want its enfant terrible to enjoy clear air before it starts to excite the press about new VNX models. ®

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