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EMC rolls 200-/400GB enterprise flash drives

Posted: 20 Mar 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:enterprise drive flash? memory device? storage array?

EMC Corp. has developed a larger-capacity, second-generation enterprise flash drives for its EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 storage systems.

In 2008, EMC pioneered the use of this technology in enterprise storage arrays and saw increasing demand as customers worldwide realized significant performance improvements and cost savings using the innovative technology that uses flash memory to store and retrieve data.

The new 200- and 400Gbyte enterprise flash drives have completed EMC's rigorous testing and qualification processes and are available immediately on Symmetrix DMX-4 storage systems for applications requiring consistent, ultrafast performance, maximum utilization and the highest levels of reliability.

EMC claims to be the only vendor that has interlocked storage array cache functionality with enterprise flash drive wear-leveling algorithms to enable more efficient and cost-effective use of flash drive capacities and to optimize performance. The new larger capacity drives will also be available on EMC CLARiiON midrange storage systems and EMC Celerra unified storage systems later in 2009.

Italy-based information and communication technology company SIA-SSB has deployed enterprise flash drives on the EMC Symmetrix storage system to help it meet strict service levels and increasing workloads for payment processing.

"SIA-SSB processes 6.4 billion transactions annually related to credit cards, collections and payments," said Fabio Grignani, chief information officer and deputy general manager at SIA-SSB. "We meet extremely demanding levels of service for our customers throughout Europe and are constantly trying to improve the efficiency of our systems and processes in order to be more competitive. Flash drive technology, as part of an overall EMC Payments Solution, was able to help improve application performance from 6,000 to 16,000 I/Os per second and reduce average response times by more than 60 percent, while monthly batch processing times improved significantly from 22 to 17 hours."

As enterprise flash drives have become more popular and drive capacity has increased, the cost-per-gigabyte compared to traditional Fibre Channel disk drives has been reduced by 76 percent over the past year. This has resulted in enterprise flash drives becoming an even more cost-effective option for highest-level "Tier 0" applications, enabling one fully utilized flash drive to deliver the same performance as numerous intentionally underutilized or "short stroked" mechanical drives. As a result, by reducing the overall number of drives in a system, power consumption-per-transaction can be reduced by up to 98 percent.

David Floyer, chief technology officer of the technology research and advisory organization Wikibon, said, "Flash drives have two major customer benefitsreducing storage and IT energy budgets. They can perform hundreds of times more I/O than traditional disks and replace large numbers of disks that are I/O constrained, and they can increase system throughput by reducing I/O response times. This means fewer actuators, fewer drives, more efficient storage #LINKKEYWORD2# and more efficient servers, leading to lower storage and energy costs. Clearly EMC has a head start in understanding the technology, understanding customer usage, and understanding the storage array requirements."

Barbara Robidoux, EMC VP, storage marketing, said, "It is clear that enterprise flash drives are revolutionizing the way information is stored and EMC is leading the charge. We are delivering the second generation of this technology as a result of significant investments in research and development, testing and integration, while other vendors struggle to deliver their first flash drive offerings at much lower capacities."

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