EMC's Flashy New Clariions

EMC last week released its much-awaited Clariion CX4 Series array.

The CX4 family consists of the CX4-120, CX4-240, CX4-480 and CX4-960 -- each distinguished by the number of drives it holds. The CX4-120 features 120 drives, 6GB cache memory and from 4 to 16 Fibre Channel and iSCSI connections. The CX4-240 is a more powerful machine than the CX4-120 -- it features up to 240 drives, 8GB cache and from 4 to 20 Fibre Channel and iSCSI connections.

With the CX4-480, you can see where all of this is going. It features as many as 480 disk drives, but adds up to 16GB of cache and 8 to 24 Fibre Channel and iSCSI connections. The CX4-960 has of course 960 disk drives, but is the most powerful box of the CX4 family. It features 32GB of cache and up to 32 Fibre Channel and iSCSI connections. But it is with the CX4-960 where all similarity ends.

The CX4-960 can be outfitted with solid state flash drives for Tier 0 storage in December of this year, featuring performance of 30x more IOPS (I/O Operations Per Second) than traditional drives.

In addition the new CX4 family features thin provisioning, which EMC dubs virtual provisioning, and spin-down and low power Serial ATA drives, which it claims and much of the industry believes, will save energy. Further, the CX4 family supports concurrent local and remote replication -- an integrated RecoverPoint splitter simplifies deployments.

EMC will also extend solid state flash drives to its Celerra network-attached storage platform in the next six months. The company has already incorporated SSD flash into is high-end Symmetrix array.

EMC is not the only vendor to deploy flash drives. Sun has said it will introduce SSDs in both its servers and storage.

This story, "EMC's Flashy New Clariions " was originally published by Network World.

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