July 15, 2011, 9:16 AM — In conjunction with VMware's release of its next generation cloud operating system, vSphere 5 , EMC this week announced new vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) software and a smaller version of its top-end VMAX storage array. The VSA software pools internal disk capacity on physical servers to create a storage area network (SAN).
The VMAX was EMC's first enterprise-class storage system built on Intel's x86 quad-core processors and integrated with VMware's APIs to automate the provisioning of storage for virtual machines across multiple tiers of disk drives, from solid-state to Serial ATA (SATA). That system scales to eight controllers and 2 petabytes of usable capacity within a single chassis.
The new VMAXe is aimed at mid-sized to lower enterprise-class companies and scales to four controllers and 960 drives for up to 1.3PB of capacity. Each controller can manage from 24 to 240 drives with up to 96GB of cache. Each storage bay holds up to 180 drives that can be any combination of 450GB 15,000 rpm Fibre Channel drives, 600GB 10,000 rpm Fibre Channel drives, 2TB 7,200rpm SATA drives and 200GB SSDs.
The VMAXe array
The VMAXe has up to 64 external, front-end ports for connectivity to application servers. The array has built-in open, local and remote replication support for EMC and non-EMC systems, which enables easy migrations, the company said.
The VMAXe is aimed at organizations with limited storage expertise and IT resources. It features a new hardware design for a smaller footprint - a 19-in. wide rack -- and has built-in software for fast installation, configuration and management. EMC states that the array can be set up and running in just four hours.