On Monday, July 16th, EMC will announce improvements across the whole range of its storage products: Symmetrix; Clariion; Celerra; Centera; and Rainfinity.

The improvements feature 750GB serial ATA (SATA) II drives with EMC presenting these as energy-reducing drives as well as higher-capacity ones. Centera has extra low-power features; the others do not. Replication is improved for Symmetrix and Clariion, and some RSA integration has been accomplished.

In more detail:

- Symmetrix DMX-4 series of high-end storage systems has an end-to-end 4 gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) architecture, a new Fibre Channel point-to-point back-end for higher levels of reliability. They are the first high-end arrays to support both high speed Fibre Channel disk drives and low-cost 750GB (gigabyte) serial ATA (SATA) II disk drives. EMC says these reduce energy consumption by up to 33 percent compared to other drives.

- A new version of the Enginuity storage operating environment. It improves Symmetrix performance by up to 30 percent, makes local data replication up to 10 times faster using EMC TimeFinder software, makes synchronous remote replication up to 33 percent faster and doubles replication distances using EMC SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) software. The new version of Enginuity also includes an extensive set of built-in security features from RSA including new integration with the RSA enVision platform that integrates audit logs from Symmetrix into the enterprise-wide view of audit logs for security and compliance that RSA enVision provides.

- New Celerra NS20 and NS40 network-attached storage (NAS). The entry-level Celerra NS20 and larger Celerra NS40 systems can be deployed in both NAS and storage area network (SAN) environments using iSCSI or Fibre Channel connectivity. There is new Celerra Startup Assistant software to ease usage and management with Celerras being installed and running in as little as 15 minutes, EMC claims. The new Celerras support the 750GB SATA II disk drives, which can reduce Celerra power consumption by up to 33 percent.

- A new entry-level EMC Rainfinity File Management Appliance (FMA)appliance for file archiving. It provides policy-based file management and can automatically move and retrieve files across an entire NAS infrastructure. It works with Celerra, other NAS systems and EMC's Centera content addressed storage (CAS) systems. Customers can upgrade from the FMA to the full Rainfinity Global File Virtualization solution.

- A new Centera CAS system; the Centera Generation 4 LP (Low Power) nodes have low-power processors and chipsets, adaptive cooling and more efficient power supplies to reduce energy consumption while also offering 50 percent more storage capacity per node using 750GB SATA disk drives. This reduces power and cooling requirements by 67 percent per terabyte.

- New security features in the EMC CentraStar storage operating environment provide greater levels of authentication, system logging and auditing capabilities. The new software is compatible with previous Centera generations and is available as a free upgrade to customers with maintenance contracts. Generation 4 LP nodes can be incorporated into existing Centera systems.

- New CLARiiON CX3 networked storage system capabilities. The latest version of the CLARiiON FLARE storage operating environment has built-in security capabilities for improved access control and expanded compliance and audit features. In addition, CLARiiON CX3 iSCSI capabilities have been extended with support for native iSCSI remote replication. The new operating environment, which can be implemented on all CLARiiON CX3 systems as well as previous generation CX300, CX500 and CX700 systems, also enables RAID 6 protection and active/active failover. CLARiiON systems also get the 750GB SATA II drives.

The latest version of FLARE is available as a free upgrade for customers with maintenance plans from EMC or authorised partners.

EMC is proud of its multi-level storage offerings. David Donatelli, EMC's EVP for storage product operations, said: "One size does not fit all and we’re making sure customers, whether big, medium or small, have the right solution for the right storage job.”

EMC has not introduced thin provisioning in this announcement, which leaves it lagging 3PAR and Hitachi Data Systems.

The new Centera Generation 4 LP Nodes and the Rainfinity File Management Appliance will be generally available from July 16. The new Symmetrix DMX-4 series, new version of Enginuity, new Celerra NS20 systems, Celerra multi-protocol NS40 systems and new CLARiiON enhancements will be available in August 2007.