Research Library

Dell EMC VNX NAS – Product Analysis

This document is retired and no longer updated. Please see Dell EMC Unity for the most current product information. Deep dive product analysis updated April 30th, 2014.

Dell EMC VNX has been replaced by Dell EMC Unity.

The Dell EMC VNX NAS series of storage systems are a family of systems that provides unified file and block storage.  The first generation of VNX replaced the CLARiiON and Celerra product line.  The next generation of VNX systems contains a major update to the Storage Processor implementation for block storage.  The second generation VNX increased performance of VNX by 4X over the first generation and added additional capabilities.

The VNX systems provide a wide set of connectivity options for block access and for file access as a NAS system.  There are two different series in the VNX family:  the VNXe which is targeted as an entry level storage system and the VNX which is a mid-tier system.

The first generation VNX represented an evolution of the long available CLARiiON and Celerra products where the two systems were combined to provide a single, scalable storage system.  The CLARiiON has been a successful product line from Dell EMC resulting from the acquisition of Data General.  Multiple generations of the CLARiiON have been delivered.  Dell EMC has now moved away from the CLARiiON name with incorporation of the successful Celerra NAS system into a combined product.

The second generation VNX optimized the Storage Processor to exploit the multiple core processors and multi-threading capability.

Dell EMC also offers the VNX Gateways which are two dedicated network server models that allow separate Dell EMC block storage systems to be attached to deliver NAS capabilities of VNX to those systems.  The VG2 and VG8 are the gateway platforms offered by Dell EMC.

Evaluator Group Note:  The VNX will be described in this analysis and the VNXe in a separate document.  IT professionals using Evaluator Group information would typically start with the VNX examination and then consider VNXe as a logical subset/entry version.  The combined functionality of the block and file storage will also be described here but the details of the SAN storage implementation will be covered in the primary storage for the mid-range section of the Evaluator Series Research information.  This document will focus on the NAS usage of VNX. 

Content includes:

  • Highlights
  • Overview, including Model Comparison
  • Product Architecture
  • Reliability, Availability and Serviceability (RAS)
  • Advanced Features
  • Connectivity Options
  • Technical Specifications
  • Performance
  • Evaluator Group Comments
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