EMC to unveil new Symmetrix

3 February 2003 Storage giant EMC will today unveil Symmetrix DMX, a revamped version of its flagship high-end storage line that it hopes will reverse its slump in revenues and regain market share lost to rivals Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and IBM.

The new products are sorely needed to help address customer and analyst criticisms that Symmetrix had become outdated.

The new Symmetrix product line-up will comprise three main models: Direct Matrix (DMX) 800, an entry-level modular device that can scale up to 17.5 terabytes (TB), DMX 1000, which is capable of storing up to 21TB and DMX 2000, the top-of-the line model with a capacity of 42TB.

EMC will sell DMX 2000 as two boxes or a “dual bay” product, while the other two products will be shipped as one box.

A key feature of the Symmetrix DMX family is EMC’s “matrix” fibre channel architecture, which should improve internal connectivity and deliver a maximum throughput of 64 gigabytes per second and a total of 32 concurrent data transfers.

EMC also claims that the new Symmetrix will offer significantly improved data caching. Overall, Symmetrix DMX will provide much improved storage performance at a much lower cost than rival products, claim EMC executives.

The new product comes at a critical time for the company. The company’s share of the enterprise disk systems market has fell sharply from 33% to 25% in 2001, according to analysts Garter Dataquest.

EMC’s market share dipped because it has been slow to respond to the faster, cheaper products from rivals, particularly HDS’s Lightening 9900 high-end disk system. IBM also made big improvements to its TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) “Shark” product in 2002, racheting up the pressure on EMC.

As a spoiler to EMC’s Symmetrix launch, HDS last week announced that it had doubled the capacity of its Lightning 9900 series to 148TB, while IBM will today announce that Shark is now compatible with the Storage Networking Industry Association’s (SNIA) Bluefin specification.

The Bluefin standard is intended to help organisations more easily manage storage systems in a heterogeneous, multi-vendor storage network. IBM claims that EMC is persisting with a proprietary approach.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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