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Oasis IT Products
Dell EMC
Storage

Dell Emc VMAX3 Family 

Dell EMC VMAX is Dell EMC’s flagship enterprise storage array product line. It evolved out of the EMC Symmetrix array, EMC’s primary storage product of 1990s and early 2000s. 

Review

Dell EMC VMAX

Symmetrix was EMC Corporation's flagship product from 1990, when it first shipped, until 2003 when the Direct Matrix Architecture (DMX) product line was introduced to replace it. The first Symmetrix systems were storage arrays connected to an IBM mainframe via the block multiplexer channel.

Newer generations of Symmetrix brought additional host connection protocols which include ESCON, SCSI, Fibre Channel-based storage area networks (SANs), FICON and iSCSI. The 1995 release of Symmetrix 3000 was recognized as the first open system to connect to mainframe-class storage over standard SCSI protocols. The Symmetrix product was initially popular within the airline industry and with companies that were willing to deviate from the safety of IBM's 3390 disk subsystem and take a risk with the unproven Symmetrix array.

This product is the main reason for the rapid growth of EMC in the 1990s, both in size and value, from a company valued hundreds of millions of dollars to a multi-billion company. Moshe Yanai managed the Symmetrix development from the product's inception in 1987 until shortly before leaving EMC in 2001, and his Symmetrix development team grew from several people to thousands.

The Direct Matrix Architecture (DMX) product line was announced in February 2003. This architecture replaced older switch- and bus-based architectures, offering significant performance improvements in the process. The Symmetrix DMX Architecture featured Channel Directors for host communication, Disk Directors for disk communication, and Global Memory Directors for I/O delivery from hosts to Disk Directors.

In 2009, EMC introduced the Virtual Matrix Architecture, which was a re-design of the DMX architecture to reflect the ongoing virtualization trend. The new architecture could support “hundreds of thousands of terabytes of storage and millions of IOPS (input/output per second) supporting hundreds of thousands of VMware and other virtual machines in a single federated storage infrastructure.”  VMAX (then called EMC Symmetrix V-Max) was the first storage system to support this new sale out architecture offering from 1 engine to 8 engines of expansion.

Since the introduction of VMAX, development has continued on both the hardware and software fronts, including the original Enginuity operating system, which was replaced by the HYPERMAX OS when the VMAX3 line was introduced in 2014 with a built-in storage hypervisor. All-Flash versions of the product line were introduced in 2016, further increasing system scalability, reliability and sub-millisecond latency. All-Flash systems accounted for 80% of all VMAX revenue as of May, 2017 according to IDC.

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