Jan 182011

Today sees what EMC is calling ‘Its biggest ever launch’ with the VNX product line. Heres an overview of the product range.

The VNX family consists of two product series—VNX and VNXe.

  • The VNX series is EMC’s next generation of midtier products, unifying Celerra (NS) and CLARiiON (CX4) into a single product brand and extending all the Celerra and CLARiiON value to VNX series customers. It is targeted at the midtier to enterprise storage environments that require advanced features, flexibility, and configurability. The VNX series provides significant advancements in efficiency, simplicity, and performance.

New benefits of the VNX series include:

– Support for file (CIFS and NFS), block (Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel over Ethernet), and object

Simple conversions when starting with a VNX series block-only system and simply adding file services or starting with a file-only system and adding block services.

– Support for both block and file automated tiering with Fully Automated Storage Tiering with Virtual Pools (FAST VP)

Unified replication with RecoverPoint support for both file and block data.- Updated unified management with Unisphere now delivers a more cohesive, unified user experience.

– Allowing each X-Blade to support up to 256 TB (besides the VNX5300, which will support up to 200 TB)

  • The VNXe (entry level) series is a new offering that opens up incremental market opportunity for EMC and is designed for and targeted toward small-to medium-size businesses (SMB), commercial customers, remote office/branch office (ROBO), departmental/branch offices, or for customers who are IT generalists—smaller environments with limited storage expertise.


EMC’s new VNX family is comprised of two series:

· VNX series for the middle to high-end of the midrange market (5000 class and 7000 class)

· VNXe series for the lower end of the market (3000 class)

The table below outlines the VNX family and the current model that each VNX series replaces.




Model Name

Current Product

VNX family

VNX series




Celerra VG8

Celerra VG2



CX4-960 and NS-960






CX4-480 and NS-480

CX4-240 and NS-480

CX4-120 and NS-120

CX4-120 and AX4

VNXe series




CX4-120 and NS-120 and AX4 (iSCSI) and NX4

The current CLARiiON CX4 series and Celerra NS integrated platforms and their associated (Fibre Channel) drives will continue to be offered for some period of time. With the VNX series, customers get the best of both product lines—with block only, file only, or unified—in a single, multiprotocol offering.

As with most new product introductions, EMC will continue to offer previous generation products, including Fibre Channel disk, I/O, and software upgrades, for some time after the VNX series has been made available to the public.

Unisphere update

It is important to position Unisphere as the central management platform for the VNX family. That said, there are some unique capabilities available for the VNX series and VNXe series to address unique requirements.

The VNX series will be managed by Unisphere 1.1, which introduces a single system view of unified, file, and block systems with all features and functions available in a single interface. Unisphere 1.1 will also be compatible with older systems, including CLARiiON and Celerra systems running DART 6 or higher.

The VNXe series will be managed by Unisphere 1.5. Unisphere 1.5 for the VNXe series was designed for an IT generalist who has experience as a system or network administrator and with typical applications such as Microsoft Exchange, VMware, Hyper-V, and shared folders (CIFS/NFS). Every storage-related task is accomplished using natural language without the complexity of storage jargon. The result is that the user is able to take immediate advantage of the VNXe’s features without additional certification or training.

While both VNX and VNXe series systems will offer integrated support pages in the management interface, there will be major differences in the level of services delivered. VNX will be aimed at traditional direct users. VNXe will accommodate service-enabled partners, including the following highlights:

· VNXe’s Unisphere interface will have a few links to eServices on an EMC support page disabled when a service partner sells VNXe. The icons that will not appear in Unisphere are Chat, Manage Support Contacts, Service Center, and Customer Replaceable Parts. If the product is supported by EMC, Unisphere will have these icons enabled in Unisphere.

· Whenever the VNXe is routed to a support page that requires input from the customer, VNXe will automatically populate those fields for the user.

– For example, if a part fails and is under warranty with EMC, the part replacement form will be populated by VNXe with the part information as well as the customer‘s ship-to information for the replacement part. VNX series systems will provide this same capability through the Unisphere Service Manager.

All in all I think this is a great move from EMC to wrap there offerings into a single management methodology.

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