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A New Symm?

So EMC-World is here and the breathless hype begins all over again and in amongst the shiny, shiny,shiny booths; the acolytes worship the monolith that is the new Symmetrix. Yet a question teases the doubters, do we need a new Symmetrix?

Okay, enough of the ‘Venus in Furs’ inspired imagery; although it might be strangely appropriate for the Las Vegas setting but there is a question which needs to be asked, do we need a new Symmetrix?

Now I am probably these days far enough removed but not so distant that I can have a stab at an answer. And the answer is; no, I don’t believe that we actually needed a new Symmetrix but EMC needed to develop one anyway.

There are certainly lots of great improvements; a simpler management interface and the bringing it into the Unisphere world has been long overdue. It seems that many manufacturers are beginning to realise that customers want commonality and that shiny GUIs can help to sell a product.

Improvements to Timefinder snaps are welcome; we’ve come a long way from BCVs and mirror poistions; there’s still a long way to go to get customers to come along with you tho’. Many cling onto the complex rules with tenacity.

Certainly the mirroring of FAST-VP so that in the event of fail-over, there is a Performance Recovery Point of 0 is  achievable is very nice; it’s  something I’ve blogged about before and is a weakness in many automated tiering solutions.

eMLC SSDs; bringing the cost of SSD down whilst maintaining performance, this is another over-due capability as is the support of 2.5″ SAS drives improving density and I suspect performance of spinning rust.

Physical dispersal of cabinets; you probably won’t believe how long this has been discussed and asked for. Long, long overdue but hey, EMC are not the only guilty parties.

And of course, Storage ‘Federation’ of 3rd party arrays; I’m sure HDS and IBM will welcome the vindication of their technology by EMC or at least have a good giggle.

But did we need a new Symmetrix to deliver all this? Or would the old one have done?

Probably but where’s the fun in that?

I don’t know but perhaps concentrating on the delivery to the business before purchasing a new Big Iron array might be more fitting. I don’t know about you but in the same way that I look at mainframes with nostalgia and affection; I’m beginning to look at the Symmetrix and the like in the same way.

If you need one, you need one but ask yourself…do I really need one?

One Comment

  1. Your question is precisely the reason that we have continued the VMAX (as the VMAX 20K), rather than replace it with the VMAX 40K. Not everyone has the need for speed, although a 4 engine 40K will outperform an 8-engine VMAX/VMAX20K…so same may wish to leverage those economics.

    And just to be clear:

    – All of the new software features are available on VMAX, VMAX 20K and the new VMAX 40K.

    – Everything except FTS, System z and IBM i support are available on the VMAXe and VMAX 10K.

    – tsa

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