I'm in the market again for storage and you may have already seen my discussions regarding EqualLogic and Dell's MD3220i arrays. I'm taking my search slow and have been awaiting EMC's new product announcement and will be making a trip next week to delve a bit deeper into Xiotech's product line. My focus in this article, however, is on EMC's new VNX and VNXe products. At Westminster, our existing EMC AX4 powers our modest virtual infrastructure which runs on four virtual hosts and supports about fifty or so virtual machines and does so very well. Given my outstanding experience with the AX4, I'm definitely leaning toward continuing with EMC.
Two new entrants in EMC's product line are the aforementioned VNX and VNXe, which combine EMC's Clariion and Celerra lines into a unified product. The VNX product line is the more traditional of the two lines while the VNXe products are targeted at small and medium enterprises. The VNXe line is an iSCSI-only affair supporting up to either 96 or 120 drives while, depending on model, the VNX line supports iSCSI, Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and supporting anywhere from up to 75 to 1,000 drives.
Figure 1 - VNXe
Figure 2 - VNX
Regardless of the model selected, all of EMC's new VNX and VNXe system use Unisphere, EMC's successor to Navisphere. Unisphere aims to make managing EMC devices much easier than it was in the past. This is one area in which EMC needed to play catch up to bring some ease of use to the game and I think they've accomplished that goal nicely.
There are a number of different models of the VNX/VNXe. In the table below, you will see an overview of some of the features of each model.
EMC has also created a number of different software packages as add-ons so that customers can pick and choose what options are necessary for their environments. This can help keeps overall costs more in line with what is needed.
I've been very happy with our existing AX4, so I'm very interested in further investigating EMC's newest offering.