EMC has unveiled a new, virtual architecture for its enterprise-level storage systems, as well as the first products – initially scaling up to 2 Petabytes of usable capacity – based on it. And three South African companies are already taking advantage of it.

The new EMC Virtual Matrix Architecture promises to be a reasonably-priced option as it's based on industry-standard components. In addition, it's said to be the first storage architecture that combines the performance and efficiency of a scale-up architecture and the cost-effective flexibility of a scale-out architecture.
The Virtual Matrix Architecture has been designed and built from the ground up to break the physical boundaries of data centre storage. It incorporates automation to simplify storage management, enables resources to be scaled on demand and uses less energy per Terabyte of data stored than traditional high-end storage systems.
The first storage system based on the new architecture is the EMC Symmetrix V-Max system, which is available immediately.
It is the world’s largest high-end storage array and uses multi-core processors to lower power costs and improve IOPS per dollar. Combined with the latest generation enterprise flash, fibre channel and SATA drives, the Symmetrix V-Max system allows users to cost-effectively meet the widest range of storage requirements for high performance and high capacity in a single system.
The new V-Max product joins the companies other offerings at the top end of the range, above the current top-of-the-range DMX-4 product.
The high-availability Symmetrix V-Max Engine at the centre of the new system is a flexible building block that features multiple redundant Intel Xeon Quad-core processors with up to 128Gb of memory and up to 16 host and 16 drive channel connections.
The Virtual Matrix Architecture allows Symmetrix V-Max Engines to interconnect and share resources. This enables a Symmetrix V-Max system to scale to 1024Gb of global memory, with twice as many front-end and back-end connections compared to the industry-leading Symmetrix DMX-4 systems. The ability to interconnect and share resources to easily and linearly scale out is a key customer requirement as virtual machines and applications are dynamically added and shifted.
"The shift from physical to virtual computing is being driven by efficiency gains too compelling to ignore," says Joe Tucci, EMC chairman, president and CEO. "Virtualisation’s ability to maximise resources and automate complex and repetitive manual tasks is overtaking the server world and is now happening in the storage world.
The Symmetrix V-Max system provides more than three times the performance, twice the connectivity and three times more usable capacity than Symmetrix DMX-4 systems and uses significantly less power per terabyte and per IOP.
As part of EMC’s Early Adopter Programme, more than 30 of the new systems have already been shipped to customers. In South Africa, early adopters are Discovery Health, Vodacom and Tiger Brands.