EMC tweaks multicore code, cranks VNX2 performance

EMC took the wraps of its next-generation VNX2 hybrid storage range overnight.

EMC’s NZ chief technology officer Arron Patterson says EMC launched the original VNX unified storage line about two years ago. He says VNX has been successful in New Zealand where it is particularly popular with what we think of as mid-range customers – that is what the rest of the world consider smaller companies.

Part of the reason for its popularity was that the storage arrays are big enough for medium-size company needs, but scales easily if they need more. And the unwritten law of storage is that customers always need more, eventually.

Processor bottleneck

The bottleneck on VNX was in the processor department. This is addressed by the big refresh to VNX2 which Patterson says will: “Leverage Intel’s four to eight core processors”.

That’s neat, but the software driving the original storage arrays was never built to handle multi-core processors. So while the new chips in VNX2 are the headline news, the story behind the story is that EMC has rewritten the code to fix matter. It turns out this code rewrite delivers a huge performance boost.

EMC’s announcement highlights the software’s ability to get maximum performance from Intel Xeon CPUs and flash storage – which in the last two years has gone from being an optional extra to being standard fare on storage arrays. EMC says the VNX2 is built for flash storage first with traditional disk storage now the option.