back to article Two flashy VMAX bridesmaids bare ankles at EMC's DSSD groom

EMC has two new all-flash VMAX products as a result of re-engineering aspects of the VMAX design to lower latency. The company now has four all-flash array product families; XtremIO for relatively standard all-flash workloads; the DSSD D5 for extreme high-performance; VMAX for high performance and huge capacity inside the VMAX …

  1. Nate Amsden Silver badge


    Maybe I remembered wrong but I swear when VMAX came out what 6 or 7 years ago they touted lots of controllers. And here we are 2016 and I believe they have the same number as when they started(8). Just dug up a presentation from emc from 2009 on google mentioning "hundreds of vmax engines" in "one single enterprise array".

    3PAR told me at one point they can scale beyond 8 as well but the risk wasn't worth it so instead focus on making individual controllers faster (at the time it was when they first started including two 3PAR ASICs in each controller maybe 5 years ago).

    EMC seems to be doing the same

    1. Michael Duke

      Re: funny

      Once you hit 8 controllers,4+PB of raw capacity , 16TB of memory, 384 CPU Cores and 256 16Gbps front end ports do you really need more scale in a single system?

      There comes a time where the complexity of the scaling is more than it is worth.

      If you need monster scaling then look at a solution like ScaleIO, Isilon or ECS depending on the data type.

      *DIsclaimer - I am an EMC channel pre sales guy working in the distribution channel.

      1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

        Re: funny

        EMC seemed to think so

        "Hundreds of V Max engines

        Hundreds of TB of memory

        Hundreds of PB of storage

        Thousands of ports

        Tens of thousands of disk drives

        Tens of millions of IOPs

        Spanning multiple locations

        One Virtual Matrix...One Single Enterprise Array"

        It was an impressive vision at the time though it looks like it will never come true.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How Many All Flash Arrays Does One Company Need?

    I hate to suggest Chris may have got his numbers wrong but in addition to the four he lists EMC offer an all flash VNXe. That makes five AFAs. (Let's not count all flash ScaleIO as that's SDS.) Join that to the all flash Compellent and EqualLogic and Dell | EMC has 7 AFAs. Now you can argue about how many block all flash platforms one company might need but I'm pretty sure 7 is sub-optimal. Safety off, one or more product lines future development will being getting in the back of the head.

    *Disclaimer - I have worked for Dell and EMC and still have friends at both. I am hoping they will be OK.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: How Many All Flash Arrays Does One Company Need?

      How many arrays period does one company need? You need something with enterprise RAS and lots of software options etc. The kind of thing CIOs won't get fired for buying. That's VMAX. Then you need something cheaper that starts small but is designed to scale up beyond VMAX in either performance (adding controllers/engines) or capacity (adding shelves/cabinets)

      Time to pull the plug on limited dead end tech like VNX, and eventually settle on one or at most two others below VMAX.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky falling? Flash optimized?

    VMAX is the modern day bizarro Chicken Little.... the flash is optimised, the flash is optimised.

    2014: The code's been BOOSTED!

    >>>Three Cheers for Flash! VMAX Gets a Lift with FlashBoost


    2015: We're told VMAX3 was "BUILT FOR FLASH" (just apparently not as well as it could have been.)

    >>>VMAX3: Flash-Optimized By Design


    2016: Hello there, so...

    To be fair, since none of the VMAX marketeers from that time are probably driving supporting it anymore, maybe they just forgot that the system had been, well, optimised already. And now, the non AFA versions remain, what, un-optimised? Too funny.

    But hey, XtremIO will be ready for real mission critical workloads soon, right? That thing is, umm, flash optimised, I hear.

    Good times, good times.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So EMC is selling flash platforms "not designed ground up for flash". Where have we heard that accusation used? Panic move to mitigate some high profile Xtremio failures?

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