NX4: bringing NAS to the masses…

by dave on August 26, 2008

So you’re reading this at 12:01AM on Tuesday, August 26th…to paraphrase “Captain Awesome” from Chuck (on NBC), “Early morning group hug? AWESOME!”

Anyhow, let’s get straight to the point here: the NX4 is here. It has arrived in all of its SAS/SATA disk goodness. It brings with it CIFS/NFS capabilities, iSCSI for IP-based block level access, and 4Gb/s Fibre Channel for those moments where massive bandwidth and low latency are priorities. Sounds good, huh? Let’s toss in IP-based and Fibre replication facilities, auto volume management (for thin provisioning), and writable Celerra snaps and you’ve rounded out the solution completely. Did I mention that you’re going to layer this on top of the category-busting (sales-wise) AX4-5?

So, where does the NX4 slot in the line-up of Celerra products? Let’s take a look at the visual lineup.

In any case, you can see where the NX4 is being positioned in the greater Celerra lineup. Couple of points to note here:

a.) Across the line, the Celerra has doubled the maximum addressable storage limits of each product model. The NX4, as noted, can utilize up to 32TB of IP storage.

b.) The NX4 still maintains the high availability dual blade architecture of the rest of the Celerra line. One blade fails, the other one is ready to go.

c.) The NX4 makes use of SATA and SAS drives and allows you to mix them within the same drive trays. SAS drives have the same IOP performance as Fibre Channel drives and SATA drives provide that Tier 2 for file storage, archive, insert-capacity-based-application-here. Even better, you get to expand to 60 physical drives for a “raw” capacity of 60TB of storage (that’s assuming an all SATA config).

d.) NFS, CIFS, iSCSI, Fibre Channel connectivity. Multiprotocol in an SMB box. Can’t really beat that (yeah, that means you, NetApp). With the ability to handle Oracle, SQL, Exchange, and VMWare workloads (remember, SAS drives are part of the mix), the NX4 is uniquely positioned both in price AND performance to handle anything SMB can throw at it.

In all and through all, EMC has developed a great storage box for the SMB masses while giving them features from their higher end Celerra units.  I look forward to seeing how the NX4 does and you can be sure I’ll be talking it up.



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