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EMC Symmetrix

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Title: EMC Symmetrix  
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Subject: Moshe Yanai, EMC Corporation, EMC storage devices, Symmetrix Remote Data Facility, Multi Path File System
Collection: Emc Storage Devices
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

EMC Symmetrix

The Symmetrix system is EMC Corporation's enterprise storage array. It was the flagship product of EMC in the 1990s and 2000s.


  • History 1
  • Models 2
  • Features 3
  • VMAX 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Symmetrix arrays, EMC's flagship product at that time, began shipping in 1990 as a storage array 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 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.[1] Moshe Yanai managed the Symmetrix development from the product's inception in 1987 until shortly before leaving EMC in 2001,[2] and his Symmetrix development team grew from several people to thousands.


Generation Models Production years Disks (Max) Memory (Max)
Symm2 4000, 4400, 4800 1992 24
Symm3 3100, 3200, 3500 1994 32 / 96 / 128 4 GB
Symm 4.0 3330/5330, 3430/5430, 3700/5700 1996 32 / 96 / 128 8 GB / 16 GB
Symm 4.8 3630/5630, 3830/5830, 3930/5930 1998 32 / 96 / 256 / 384 8 GB / 16 GB
Symm 5.0 8430, 8730 2000 96 / 384 32 GB
Symm 5.5 8230, 8530, 8830 2001 48 / 96 / 384 32 GB
DMX, DMX2 DMX-1000, DMX-2000, DMX-3000 2003 144 / 288 / 576
DMX3, DMX4 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500 2005 240 / 960 / 1440 / 2400 64 / 144 / 216 / 256 GB
VMAX VMAX, VMAX-SE, VMAX 10K, VMAX 20K, VMAX 40K 2009+ 1080 / 2400 /3200 512 / 1024 / 2048 GB
VMAX 3 VMAX 100K, 200K, 400K 2015 1440 / 2880 / 5760 2TB / 8TB / 16 TB

The Direct Matrix Architecture (DMX) product line with models DMX800, DMX1000 and DMX2000 were announced in February 2003.[3]


  • TimeFinder, TimeFinder/Clone — Local Replication
  • Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) supports remote replication
  • Symmetrix Optimizer -- Dynamical swap disks based on workload
  • Symmetrix command line interface (SymmCli)
  • SymmWin, Eguinuty -- Symmetrix GUI console (since Symm3, Symm4 models)
  • AnatMain — Symmetrix Pseudo-GUI console (before Symm 3, Symm4 models)
  • Symmetrix remote console (SymmRemote)
  • FAST -- Fully automated storage tiering
  • FTS -- Federated tiered storage
  • ECC --EMC Control Center


EMC Symmetrix VMAX systems are storage platforms intended for open systems and mainframe computing. Symmetrix VMAX systems run the Enginuity operating environment. The system scales from a single Symmetrix VMAX Engine system with one storage bay to a large eight-engine system with a maximum of ten storage bays.

The VMAX system bay can hold 1-8 engines. These engines house the hardware for all the data processing capabilities. Each engine contains 2 director boards, memory chips, and front-end (FE) and back-end (BE) ports for connectivity to hosts and storage bays, respectively.

Each director board contains 2 Intel quad core processors for data processing, 16, 32 or 64 GB of physical memory, one System Interface Board (SIB) that connects the director to the Matrix Interface Board Enclosure (MIBE), front-end and back-end ports.

The VMAX has 1 to 10 storage bays for hard drives. Each storage bay contains 16 Disk Array Enclosures (DAE). Each DAE contains 15-25 hard drives. VMAX supports SATA, Fiber Channel, SAS and Solid State drives.[4]


  1. ^ EMC Company Web site, July 19, 2000 "EMC Reports 43% Growth in Storage Revenue, First $2 Billion Quarter" Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  2. ^ "EMC Strengthens Operational Alignment". Press release (EMC). November 29, 2001. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Lucas Mearian (February 10, 2003). "EMC's New Arrays Get Mixed Reviews". Computer World. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  4. ^

External links

  • EMC at a Glance. Milestones 1989-1979
  • EMC at a Glance. Milestones 1990-1999
  • EMC at a Glance. Milestones 2000-2009
  • EMC at a Glance. Milestones 2010-2011
  • EMC Symmetrix VMAX Using EMC SRDF/TimeFinder
  • Symmetrix 3000 and 5000 Enterprise Storage Systems Product Description Guide
  • EMC Symmetrix 8000 Series data sheet
  • EMC Symmetrix DMX Series data sheet
  • EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 specification sheet
  • EMC Symmetrix Optimizer. White Paper. A Detailed Review
  • "Configuring EMC Symmetrix and Symmetrix DMX systems"
  • NetworkWorld "EMC's new Symmetrix array targets virtual data centers"
  • PC-World magazine, "EMC Revenue Grows on Strength of Big Data, VMware"
  • "VMAX 3 specifications"
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