EMC – Next-Generation VNX – The Speed to Lead

Otherwise titled, “about time”. I heard about this a few months ago, and have had a number of technical briefings from people inside EMC since then. For a number of reasons EMC weren’t able to publicly announce it until now. Anyway, for the official scoop, head on over to EMC’s Speed to Lead site. In this post I thought I’d cover off on some of the high-level speeds and feeds. I hope to have a some time in the near future to dive in a little deeper on some of the more interesting architectural changes.

As far as the hardware goes, EMC have refreshed the VNX midrange line with the following models:


The 5200 is positioned just above the 5100, the 5400 above the 5300, and so forth. The VNX8000 is the biggest yet, and, while initially shipping with 1000 drives, will eventually ship with a 1500-spindle capability. The SPs all use Sandy Bridge chips, with EMC heavily leveraging multi-core. The 8000 will sport  dual-socket, 8-core SPs and 128GB of RAM. You’ll also find the sizing of these arrays is based on 2.5″ drives, and that a number of 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives will be available with these models (highlights being 4TB 3.5″ NL-SAS and 1.2TB 2.5″ SAS drives). Here’s a better picture with the max specs for each model.


Multi-core is a big part of the new VNX range, with MCx described as a project that redesigns the core Block OE stack to improve performance, reliability and longevity.


Instead of FLARE using one core per component, MCx is able to evenly distribute workloads across cores, giving improved utilisation across the SP.



The key benefit of this architecture is that you’ll get improved performance with the other tech in the array, namely FAST VP and Deduplication. The multi-core optimisations also extend to RAID management, Cache management and FAST Cache. I hope to be able to do some more detailed posts on these.

FAST-VP has also received some attention, with the chunk size being reduced from 1GB down to 256MB. The big news, however, is the introduction of fixed-block deduplication, with data being segmented in 8KB chunks, deduped at the pool level (not across pools), and turned on or off at the LUN level. I’ll be doing a post shortly on how it all works.

Hopefully that’s given you a starting point from which to investigate this announcement further. As always, if you’re after more information, talk to your local EMC people.


  1. Pingback: penguinpunk.net » EMC – Next-Generation VNX – Deduplication

  2. Thanks Matt :) – I’m happy to finally be able to talk about it, and really glad the launch in Milan went well.

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