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EMC readies new VMAX storage, will unveil VMAX 40K at EMC World 2012

Headlines: EMC’s latest VMAX storage is the VMAX 40K; the vendor will officially launch its highest-end enterprise array and Enginuity software at EMC World 2012.

Storage channel news roundup for May 1 to 7, 2012

EMC readies new VMAX storage, will unveil VMAX 40K at EMC World 2012

EMC Corp. will launch the Symmetrix VMAX 40K -- the largest-capacity and fastest version of its enterprise storage area network (SAN) platform -- later this month at EMC World 2012, according to industry sources and EMC marketing materials acquired by EMC will also upgrade its Enginuity operating software, which runs inside all VMAX models.

With the launch, the VMAX platform will consist of three models. The entry-level VMAXe introduced last year will become the VMAX 10K, while the previous high-end VMAX will become the VMAX 20K.

EMC CEO Joe Tucci spoke about the new VMAX storage systems during the vendor’s earnings report last month but didn't disclose details.

Read the full story on EMC’s launch of enterprise SAN platform Symmetrix VMAX 40K.

EMC intends to kick start the CAN with Thunder

Move over SAN, WAN, LAN and MAN. EMC is pushing the notion of a CAN – cache area network – with its upcoming Project Thunder product.

During the Solid State Storage Symposium last month in San Jose, Calif., Brian Sorby, an EMC business development director, provided more details on the Thunder product for analysts and bloggers. EMC first disclosed Thunder when it officially launched its VFCache – formerly Project Lightning – in February. VFCache is a PCIe flash card that goes inside a server. Thunder will expand that by using PCIe flash in an appliance.

Read the rest of the blog post for more developments on EMC’s upcoming Project Thunder.

All-flash array marketing heating up, but is consolidation coming? 

Talk of EMC possibly acquiring flash array startup XtremIO last month placed a spotlight on the market for SAN systems engineered around solid-state drives (SSDs). Under that spotlight lies a rapidly growing and competitive group of startups looking to become trailblazers in the journey to flash SAN arrays.

The EMC story served as a coming-out party for XtremIO, which has yet to even formally announce its arrays. There are a bunch of startups that have formally unveiled all-flash arrays, though. Not all of them are shipping yet either, but they are already elbowing for position. Nimbus Data launched its all-SSD arrays in April 2010 and is the graybeard of the group.

There are so many all-flash SAN systems now, they already have subgroups. There are high-performance systems such as those from Violin Memory, Kaminario, Texas Memory Systems and Whiptail, and those looking to replace mainstream storage arrays such as those from Nimbus Data, Pure Storage and GreenBytes. SolidFire is targeted at cloud storage providers.

Check out this Expert video on the advantages and disadvantages of SSD.

Symantec extends integrated backup appliance strategy

Symantec Corp. will try to give its integrated backup appliances a big push at Symantec Vision 2012, which begins today. Symantec will upgrade NetBackup and Backup Exec appliances with the latest versions of the backup applications and emphasize its “dedupe everywhere” backup strategy.

Symantec first launched its NetBackup 5220 enterprise appliance and Backup Exec 3660 appliance for SMBs last August, but it brought out new versions of NetBackup and Backup Exec this year. The NetBackup 5220 is a 2U appliance that now includes NetBackup 7.5 and scales to 72 TB of usable capacity. Backup Exec 3600 includes Backup Exec 2012. The appliance is a 1U box with 5.5 TB of usable capacity. The appliances combine client and target deduplication, a media server, and backup software in one box.

Check out this tip on developing a backup deduplication strategy for your customers. 

Nirvanix receives funding to seed cloud development

Cloud storage provider Nirvanix completed a $25 million Series C funding round last week with plans to build out a new engineering center in Colorado and move toward an IPO.

The round brings Nirvanix’s total funding to $70 million. CEO Scott Genereux said the company is expanding its “Cloud Competency Center” in Boulder under its new vice president of cloud storage engineering, Dave Barr, who previously led engineering for LeftHand Storage iSCSI SANs at Hewlett-Packard. Nirvanix is also keeping its San Diego engineering team.

Read the full story on Nirvanix’s latest funding round.

Community backup cloud lets Ohio schools pool backup, DR resources 

The Ohio Education Computer Network (OECN) standardized its data protection on StorServer appliances running IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) software, setting up a community cloud for backup and disaster recovery serving districts and data centers with disparate storage systems.

The OECN consists of 23 Information Technology Centers (ITCs) spread across seven urban school districts with an enrollment of around 1.5 million students. All of the sites are connected through the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARNET) fiber optic cable network.

Ryan McClay, enterprise project manager for the Management Council of the OECN, said the first StorServer appliance showed up at an OECN site in 2005. StorServer appliances -- ranging from remote site to enterprise configurations -- all include TSM software bundled with StorServer’s management console.

Read the full story on OECN’s move to StorServer appliances and then see how Nine Technology got into the cloud backup market with its platform for MSPs.

Whiptail launches second-generation all-flash array and scale-out SAN

Solid state storage pioneer Whiptail Technologies is trying to move ahead of the growing all-flash array pack by upgrading its single-chassis system and adding a modular scale-out architecture. This week Whiptail will launch its Accela and Invicta high-performance storage systems.

Accela replaces the XLR8r flash array, which Whiptail has shipped since 2009. CEO Dan Crain said Whiptail has nearly 200 XLR8r units in production. Its systems are targeted at customers with the highest read and write performance needs.

“A lot of people are talking about [flash storage],” he said. “We’ve actually built it and we’re shipping it now. We’re out of the hype zone and focused on substance. We don’t talk much but we deliver. When we talk, it’s about stuff in the field now, not what will be there five years into the future.”

Like XLR8r, the Accela and Invicta systems use multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash solid-state drives (SSDs) supplied by Intel.

Find out more about scale-out storage options in this tip.

Additional storage news

Check out last week’s storage channel news roundup.

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