CX3 and CX4 Solutions

EMC has officially put the EMC CLARiiON CX series in End of Life status, causing turmoil for businesses unwilling to pay the high prices for forklift upgrades. The End-of-Life date, which EMC declared as December 31, 2011, means the manufacturer will no longer be marketing, selling, or supporting these arrays.

Although many customers are being told that a forklift upgrade to a CX4 or VNX systems is their only option, there are several viable alternatives to maintain an End of Life or End of Sale like the EMC CLARiiON CX, EMC CLARiiON CX3, or EMC CLARiiON CX4 series storage arrays without the exorbitant expenditure of replacing the entire storage array.

If the storage system still meets the data storage needs of an organization, the environment can be maintained even if it has been declared End of Life (EOL). There are several cost-effective ways to maintain a storage environment that’s been declared EOL or is approaching End-Of-Life:

  1. For Maintenance Warranties, Check Out Independent Maintenance Options: Third party maintenance, also known as independent maintenance, can provide service and support for any storage environment. Whether or not the array has been declared EOL, third party maintenance can reduce maintenance costs by up to 40%.
  2. Third party maintenance companies can provide faster, more efficient service and flexible contracts that fit the needs of each organization. While most OEM service contracts provide next day or 4-hour responses, some third party maintenance companies can get data hardware running in as little as 15 minutes by providing On-Site Spare Kits. In addition, third party maintenance companies provide flexible contracts that fit the needs and budget of the enterprise. Organizations often find that third party maintenance companies usually meet or exceed the original manufacturer’s SLA, as the organization can choose their level of service depending on the needs of the productions, test, archive, or disaster recovery environment.

  3. For Additional Capacity, Swap for SATA Drives: SATA drives are slower, larger drives that allow storage of greater amounts of data per drive. If additional storage is needed for business images, documents, PDFs, or for data backup and archiving, SATA drives can provide the capacity needed to maintain the array.
  4. SATA drives are perfect for storing Tier 2 data because they provide high-density storage at a lower cost-per-gigabyte than fibre channel drives. Adding EMC SATA drives to the environment, or replacing smaller drives with SATA, can improve storage capacity without a forklift upgrade.

  5. For Improved Performance, Add Smaller FC drives: Fibre channel drives (FC drives) are smaller, faster drives designed for high-demand, Tier 1 data. Spinning at 15,000RPM, fibre channel drives can increase application speed and performance without replacing the entire array.
  6. Fibre channel drives are still the number one choice for enterprise Tier 1 storage, according to Storage Magazine.* Smaller drives have faster response time and are able to handle the most intense I/O demands, making them ideal for high-performance environments. To improve application performance on a CX3 or CX4 without upgrading to a new storage array, try adding some small EMC fibre channel drives to for improved application performance.

  7. For Greater Efficiency, Try Data Tiering: Storage tiering, whether manually or automatically, can help increase the efficiency of a storage environment while maintaining the CX3 or CX4 array. Storage tiering, which involves prioritizing data into storage tiers or levels, is used by 49% of enterprises in an effort to improve their array efficiency.*
  8. Moving data to the appropriate disk drive can help an enterprise to avoid wasted capacity and improve the performance of an EOL array. Place high-performance, Tier 1 data on the fastest storage hardware, and keep less frequently used data on slower, high-density hardware for improved efficiency and performance of a CX3 or CX4 without a total environment upgrade.

    EMC CLARiiON FAST is one way of tiering storage on an EMC CX3 or CX4 array. FAST can help optimize the current storage hardware, helping to time and money. CLARiiON FAST automatically moves ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ data to the most cost-effective drives, increasing performance and reducing latency. ‘Hot’ data is moved to the fastest hardware, while ‘cold’ data is moved to higher capacity drives, like EMC SATA drives.

*As reported in a Storage Magazine survey, cited in our blog post here.


Interested in upgrading a EOL CLARiiON CX3 or CX4? Reliant Technology can help you improve your array and reduce your storage costs. Talk to a dedicated Reliant Storage Specialist today to begin discovering hardware and maintenance solutions for EMC arrays.