Symmetrix Platform History

Since 2000, the EMC Symmetrix product line has been my main focus. Over the last 14 years, I have worked with about every Active/Active and Active/Passive Array that were/are on the market. The main constant with the EMC Symmetrix product line has been its ahead of the market innovation nature. This constant drive to create the most innovate platform has enabled the Symmetrix product line to provide industry leading features in reference to stability, reliability and performance for a majority of the world largest companies. 

My performance engineering relationship goes all the way back to the Symmetrix 8000 Family (Symmetrix 5). I have always whole heartily believed that the Symmetrix platform has/is ahead of its time and is truly ahead of the competition.

Below, I have put together some information in reference to the historical releases of the Symmetrix Family along with the associated drive technologies. A little walk down memory lane.

Note: The image quality in the embedded photos (Below) are substantially reduced for faster web page load times.

 Quick photo while working on some Symmetrix VMAX Storage Arrays in the lab.

Quick photo while working on some Symmetrix VMAX Storage Arrays in the lab.

Orion 1 (Kick-Off Symmetrix)

·       1988

·       Single-bay, half-height chassis

·       2 directors with dual Block Mux Channel switches

·       2 SCSI disk drives (384 MB)

·       Max system capacity: 512 MB

Symmetrix 1 (Product did not release)

·       Single-bay, half-height chassis

·       2 directors

·       64 MB or 256 MB memory board

·       Max number of drives: 4 (625 MB)

·       Max system capacity up to 2 GB

Symmetrix 2 (4200/4400)

·       1988

·       World's first integrated cached disk array

·       20 slot, single-bay chassis

·       Up to 8 directors

·       Up to 12 memory boards (Max. Capacity: 3 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 24 (1 GB, 2 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 48 GB

Symmetrix 3 Family

Symmetrix 5500 (Elephant)

·       1990

·       World's first terabyte disk array

·       20-slot, 3-bay chassis

·       Up to 16 directors

·       Up to 6 memory boards (Max Capacity: 24 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 128 (3 GB, 9 GB, 12 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 1 TB

Symmetrix 5100 (Roadrunner)

·       1992

·       8-slot, single-bay chassis

·       Up to 6 directors (4 host, 2 disk)

·       Up to 2 memory boards (Max Capacity: 8 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 16 (3 GB, 9 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 144 GB

Symmetrix 5200 (Jaguar)

·       1992

·       12-slot, single-bay chassis

·       Up to 8 directors 

·       Up to 8 memory boards (Max Capacity: 24 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 32 (3 GB, 9 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 288 GB

Symmetrix 4 Family - 3000 Series - Open Systems

Symmetrix 3700/5700 (Ibis)

1994                 

·       "Open Symm" stored data from all major server types

·       20-slot, 3-bay chassis

·       Up to 16 directors (8 host, 8 disk)

·       Up to 4 memory boards (Max Capacity: 16 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 128 5.25" (47 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 13 TB

Symmetrix 3330/5330 (Bobcat)

·       1997

·       8-slot, single-bay chassis

·       Up to 6 directors (4 host, 2 disk)

·       Up to 2 memory boards (Max Capacity: 8 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 32 3.25" (36 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 1 TB

Symmetrix 3430/5430 (Coyote)

·       1997

·       12-slot, single-bay chassis

·       Up to 10 directors (6 host, 4 disk)

·       Up to 4 memory boards (Max Capacity: 16 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 96 3.5" (36 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 3 TB

Symmetrix 5 Family 

Symmetrix 8430 (Greywolf)

·       2000

·       Quad Bus design

·       CacheStorm memory directors

·       12-slot, single-bay chassis

·       Up to 10 directors (Fibre Channel and ESCON)

·       Up to 2 memory boards (Max Capacity: 16 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 96 (50 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 4 TB

Symmetrix 8730 (Bison)

·       2000

·       Quad Bus design

·       20-slot, 3-bay chassis

·       Up to 16 directors (Fibre Channel and ESCON)

·       Up to 4 memory boards (Max Capacity: 32 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 384 (50 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 19 TB

Symmetrix 6 Family - Direct Matrix Architecture

Symmetrix DMX800

·       2003

·       "Rack Mount Symmetrix"

·       8-slot, single-bay chassis

·       Up to 4 Fibre directors, 2 FEBE

·       Up to 2 memory boards (Max Capacity: 32 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 120 (73 GB, 146 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 17 TB

Symmetrix DMX1000 (Leopard)

·       2003

·       12-slot, single-bay chassis

·       Up to 8 directors

·       P-model option available

·       Up to 4 memory boards (Max Capacity: 64 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 144 (73 GB, 146 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 20 TB

Symmetrix DMX2000 (Panther)

·       2003

·       24-slot, 2-bay chassis

·       Up to 16 directors

·       P-model option available

·       Up to 8 memory boards (Max Capacity: 128 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 288 (73 GB, 146 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 41 TB

Symmetrix DMX3000 (Rhino)

·       2003

·       24-slot, 3-bay chassis

·       Up to 16 directors

·       Up to 8 memory boards (Max Capacity: 288 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 576 (73 GB, 146 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 82 TB

Symmetrix 7 Family - DMX-3 and DMX-4

Symmetrix DMX-3

·       2005

·       World's first petabyte disk array

·       24-slot, scalable (2 to 9 bays)

·       Up to 16 directors

·       Up to 8 memory boards (Max Capacity: 512 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 2,400 (73 GB, 146 GB, 300 GB, 500 GB)

·       Max system capacity up to 1 PB

Symmetrix DMX-4

·       2007

·       World's first enterprise class flash drive array

·       24-slot, scalable (2 to 9 bays)

·       Up to 16 directors

·       Up to 8 memory boards (Max Capacity: 512 GB)

·       Max number of drives: 2,400 

·       73 GB, 146 GB, 200 GB, 400 GB EFD

·       73 GB, 146 GB, 300 GB, 450 GB FC

·       500 GB, 1 TB SATA

·       Max system capacity up to 2 PB

Symmetrix VMAX Virtual Matrix Architecture Family 

Symmetrix VMAX

·       2009

·       World's first high-end array purpose built for virtual environments

·       Virtual Matrix sRIO interface

·       1 system bay, up to 10 storage bays

·       Up to 8 VMAX Engines, running Intel multi-core CPUs

·       Up to 16 Symmetrix directors

·       Up to 1 TB of global memory

·       Max number of drives: 2,400 

·       200 GB, 400 GB EFD

·       146 GB, 300 GB, 450 GB, 600 GB FC

·       1 TB, 2 TB SATA

·       Max system capacity up to 3 PB

Historical Symmetrix Drive Options

3.5" Seagate Barracuda 4 GB (Below)

Seagate Elite 9 - 5.25" 9 GB (Below)

23 GB SCSI Drive - 5.25" Hot Swamp Kit (Below)

3.5" Seagate 4.3 GB (Below)

Seagate Barracuda 9 - 9.1 GB (Below)

Seagate Elite 47 5.25" 47 GB (Below)

3.5" Seagate Barracuda 18 - 18 GB (Below)

Fujitsu 36 GB Halfheight (Below)

Low Profile Seagate 36 GB (Below)

Maxtor 250 GB SATA (Below)

Seagate 146 GB (Below)

Hitachi Ultrastar 500 GB / 1 TB SATA (Below)

Seagate Cheetah 15k.7 Family (Below)

Flash Drives (Below)