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Press Release

EMC Launches Symmetrix DMX Series, Redefining High-End Information Storage

Patented Non-Blocking Architecture Delivers World's Highest Performance, Unmatched Availability, Unequalled Functionality, Unexpected Economics; Supports All Symmetrix Software on Day One

, February 03, 2003 - 

Delivering the most significant advancement for high-end storage customers in more than a decade, EMC Corporation today introduced the Symmetrix® DMX series of information storage systems. The Symmetrix DMX series is based on the revolutionary new, patented Direct Matrix Architecture™ (see separate release), setting a new trajectory for scalability, performance, availability, functionality and affordability, and serving as the foundation architecture for the future of high-end storage innovation. The new series builds on the unprecedented popularity of Symmetrix, the world's most widely installed high-end storage systems.

The Symmetrix Direct Matrix Architecture represents a radical departure from today's bus- and switch-based architectures and further enhances EMC's lead in helping customers benefit from the full value of automated networked storage. Symmetrix DMX systems will play a central role in helping organizations meet the unyielding service level requirements of their "no compromises" applications tier. In addition, Symmetrix DMX systems will enable customers to keep pace with the increasingly complex and most demanding high-end workloads, and benefit from new ways to lower both their storage acquisition and operations costs.

These benefits are achieved through:

  • A fundamentally new point-to-point interconnect architecture that extends far beyond the performance, availability and flexibility of today's bus- and switch-based architectures;
  • The world's highest performance for sustained workloads, bursts of unexpected activity, and sophisticated business continuity and other storage software. Compared to the nearest competitor, Symmetrix DMX systems deliver customers approximately twice the performance in transactional environments and three times the performance in decision support environments;
  • A new standard for availability through the world's most advanced set of system and information availability features;
  • Preserved customer investments in people, systems and training through 100% compatibility—from day one—with current EMC Symmetrix systems and related EMC software.

Joe Tucci, EMC President and CEO, said, "When designing Symmetrix DMX, EMC faced a strategic decision. We could follow the path of least resistance and develop an incrementally better bus—or switch-based Symmetrix, or we could take the more challenging road to much greater returns for customers. After consulting with our customers, the choice was obvious. We rewrote the book on storage interconnect design. The resulting Direct Matrix introduces a revolutionary new architecture, one with immediate order-of-magnitude leaps in performance and availability, and one capable of scaling smoothly to handle the future of high-end storage demands."

"Perhaps most importantly for our customers, EMC made an enormous hardware technology advance while maintaining complete continuity with our Enginuity™ operating environment and industry-leading software applications. Common practice across the industry is to sacrifice one for the other. EMC invested and executed to deliver customers the combined cost and operational advantages of both," Tucci added.

Information Resources Inc. (IRI) is a leading market research information company for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and healthcare industries and an early Symmetrix DMX user. Marshall Gibbs, IRI's CIO, said, "We receive and analyze half a billion records weekly from retailers on everything sold across the country to help leading CPG companies like Johnson & Johnson, Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo understand sales and gain competitive advantage from real-time business intelligence. Processing this mind-bending amount of information can result in upwards of 300 trillion initial calculations. Because Symmetrix DMX is the only storage system capable of handling these often-unpredictable computational waves, it will radically change the way we deliver data to our customers. Storage sits at the center of everything we do, and EMC Symmetrix DMX systems are critical to our clients' ability to make strategic business decisions on the fly."

Symmetrix DMX systems offer some of the industry's widest choices for management options. They are designed for full compliance with the SMI (Storage Management Initiative, previously known as CIM/Bluefin) specifications when they become accepted beginning this year. The new Symmetrix DMX series can be fully managed by EMC ControlCenter open management software, which also provides management capabilities for all other major storage platforms. Today, more than 60 software products from 37 vendors also provide various management capabilities for Symmetrix systems.

The Symmetrix DMX Series is available in three models:

  • Symmetrix DMX800, the world's first rack-mount high-end storage system (see separate release), scales from 8 to 16 front-end ports, from 1.2 to17.5 terabytes of raw capacity (1 to 15.3 usable) and from 4 to 32 gigabytes of global cache for open systems environments. Through the groundbreaking Symmetrix DMX800, EMC has ushered the power and all the software functionality of Symmetrix into smaller, more cost-effective modular increments.
  • Symmetrix DMX1000, a single-bay integrated system, scales from 8 to 48 front-end ports, from 3.5 to 21 terabytes of raw capacity (3 to 18.5 usable) and from 4 to 64 gigabytes of global cache for mainframe and open systems environments.
  • Symmetrix DMX2000, a dual-bay integrated system, scales from 8 to 96 front-end ports, from 7 to 42 terabytes raw capacity (6.1 to 37 usable) and from 8 to 128 gigabytes of global cache for mainframe and open systems environments.

As the foundation architecture for the future of high-end storage innovation, the Symmetrix Direct Matrix Architecture is designed to scale performance and capacity as customer needs and component economics align. The Direct Matrix Architecture is capable of supporting more than 2,048 drives using today's available technology, provides a clear growth path to the future and is capable of continual increases in both bandwidth and throughput.

Randy Kerns, Partner at The Evaluator Group, said, "EMC has made a quantum leap in its storage hardware technology while preserving all of its software. This eliminates the risk of implementing new technology and waiting for code stabilization. The benefit for customers is that they won't suffer from the year-long new product shakeouts typical in this industry, and yet are able to take advantage of the capabilities delivered with the new Symmetrix DMX."

New Economics

Through the Symmetrix Direct Matrix Architecture, EMC has fundamentally altered the economics of high-end storage.

Architectural flexibility of the Symmetrix DMX series enables customers to purchase tailored configurations that precisely balance capacity and performance. The new high-performance parity RAID protection offers the option of increased disk utilization efficiency over alternate data protection methods and the highest parity RAID performance in the industry. New high-performance/high-density ports allow more servers per port and more ports per array, thus saving customers the expense of purchasing additional storage arrays and switches. And through the availability of common disk drives and other components across EMC's product line, customers will benefit from the cost efficiencies of a unified supply chain.

The combined effect of these attributes has resulted in a new set of economics for high-end storage, enabling customers to achieve the highest performance with smaller storage investments than ever before. For example, a Symmetrix DMX1000 system configured with 18.5 useable terabytes offers up to three times higher performance at a list price that is 44% lower than last year's Symmetrix 8830 with the same capacity.

Performance Under Pressure

The Symmetrix DMX series has achieved a new inflection point for performance and multidimensional scalability in high-end storage computing. The Direct Matrix Architecture eliminates the performance ceiling inherent in all bus- and switch-based storage architectures, delivering sustained peak performance for predictable workloads and bursts of unpredictable demand that can seriously affect application response times. Symmetrix DMX systems have a unique ability to react to these unpredictable bursts of activity and recover extremely quickly.

As a complement to its record-breaking specifications, Symmetrix DMX systems deliver the world's highest performance for real-world customer applications demanding the most aggressive service levels. For example, key local (TimeFinder(tm)) and remote (SRDF(tm)) replication functions used for business continuity are now three times faster with the Symmetrix DMX series.

Compared with the previous-generation Symmetrix 8000 high-end systems, the Symmetrix DMX series provides a three- to six-fold performance increase in mixed-workload environments. Compared with the nearest competitor, Symmetrix DMX delivers more than six times the data path bandwidth, more than four times the aggregate data and message path bandwidth, up to 10 times the peak cache bandwidth, and 50% more external host and network connections.

Unmatched Data Availability

Data availability is paramount for high-end storage customers. The Symmetrix DMX series takes availability to a new level and delivers the storage industry's most advanced high availability design, ensuring end-to-end data integrity. Symmetrix DMX achieves this through component redundancy and continuous validation; the storage industry's first implementation of the most advanced cache error mitigation techniques; unique component isolation through elimination of data busses and switches; an independent messaging matrix; and proactive error detection, fault isolation and phone-home diagnostics.

New Architecture, Still a Symmetrix

EMC also announced today that the entire new Symmetrix DMX series of information storage systems is available on day one with 100% EMC software compatibility, offering customers the dual benefits of hardware innovation and complete software consistency with existing Symmetrix systems. While the Symmetrix DMX systems introduce customers to radical new designs and new ways of thinking about high-end storage, EMC has carried forward—without disruption—the entire lineage of Symmetrix and EMC open management software functionality that forms the core of the EMC Symmetrix value proposition. This achievement enables customers to integrate smoothly and efficiently the most advanced storage technologies into their infrastructure without requiring additional and costly training or changes in operational procedures.

As with all prior Symmetrix generations, EMC's Enginuity™ operating environment serves as a bridge of continuity between the functionality advances it enables and prior-generation Symmetrix systems and software. Enginuity provides the requisite intelligence to orchestrate massively parallel operations, smoothly prioritize the most dynamic workloads, ensure consistency, handle service levels for multiple applications simultaneously and provide ultimate levels of adaptability as workloads and priorities change.

Pricing and Availability

All Symmetrix DMX systems are available immediately. Support for FICON mainframe connectivity will be available in the third quarter of 2003. List prices range from $409,000 to $2.5 million and vary based on configuration.

About EMC

EMC Corporation is the world leader in information storage systems, software, networks and services, providing automated networked storage solutions for organizations across the globe. Information about EMC's products and services can be found at www.EMC.com.

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