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4 minute readEMC VNX2, VNX, CLARiiON CX, Celerra NS and Data Domain SAN Storage. How Well Do You Know the EMC Family?

For IT pros interested in storage solutions from EMC, there are a lot of options to obtain superb storage at great prices and with great support and maintenance. While securing the latest technology such as VNX2 will certainly offer you the capacity, availability and performance (CAP) you need, you may be surprised to find that you don’t have to buy the latest technology to get superior functionality at dramatically reduced prices, ideal for a disaster recovery (DR) solution or disk-based backup. It’s not all about price either. Pre-owned storage hardware can also offer you flexible options for support and maintenance options.

Here is a rundown of the EMC storage family.

VNX and VNX2

As we all know, EMC released the new generation VNX models back in September at VMworld. The models include the 5200, 5400, 5600, 5800, 7600, and 8000—all “even-numbered” products as opposed to the existing VNX models: 5100, 5300, 5500, 5700, and 7500.

What you need to know is that the new VNX, dubbed “VNX2” by storage pros, is substantially different than its VNX predecessor. In essence, “VNX1” was a more iterative update to the CX4 product line, whereas the VNX2 models are a complete rebuild from the ground up. VNX2 offers a number of new features previously unavailable for EMC storage arrays.

I highly recommend checking out the Q&A we did back in September which addresses the primary differences between VNX and VNX2.


The latest generation CX series is the EMC CLARiiON CX4 series which delivers industry-leading innovation in midrange storage with the fourth-generation CLARiiON CX storage platform, hence the name CX4. The CX4 platform gives you a unique combination of flexible, scalable hardware design and Advanced Storage Efficiency products enabling CX4 series, powered by Intel Xeon processors, to meet growing and diverse needs of midsize and large enterprises. With simple and efficient features, you no longer have to compromise on performance or price. The CX4 will automatically balance performance and capacity, optimizing your ROI and addressing your data’s needs. This means storage pros get more out of their arrays with fewer resources, less time, and less money. The powerful CX4 series include the CX4 model 120, CX4 model 240, CX4 model 480, and CX4 model 960. All models come pre-configured with Fibre Channel and iSCSI connectivity, enabling you to choose the best connectivity for your specific applications.

Celerra NS Series

Celerra was promoted as the platform for virtualization. Running on a real-time operating system called Data Access in Real Time (DART), Celerra is based on the same X-blade architecture as the CLARiiON. Celerra is available with a single data mover X-blade or with multiple data movers in an active-passive N+1. The Celera products are comparable to NetApp products which offer similar features and protocol support. Obviouisly, the NS series is not the latest and greatest. However, if you already have an NS device, there are very affordable EMC upgrades to keep you up to speed without having to overhaul your environment. 

Data Domain

Yes, yes – Data Domain is owned by EMC, and the Data Domain Appliance Series delivers the highest throughput and scalability of any data de-duplication storage system in the industry. It was designed to be seamlessly integrated into your existing SAN storage infrastructure. Data Domain devices ensure fast, reliable data restores from disk while eliminating the common pains associated with backing up to and restoring from virtual tape. Data Domain can reduce the size of backup data by an average of 10 – 30x, increasing the overall efficiency of your SAN storage system. Built on Data Domain’s fast data de-duplication technology, DDs devices are the ultimate solution for your data disaster recovery and data backup needs. 

Do you have questions about your upgrade options? Reliant is now offering a complimentary assessment of your environment. We’d like to hear you. CONTACT US now to see how we can help you save time and money on your next storage upgrade. 

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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.