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Fujitsu ETERNUS DX Systems – Product Brief

Last updated December 28th, 2018 for annual review and updates. Concise and unbiased 6-page report on the Fujitsu ETERNUS DX Systems. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!

Overview

The ETERNUS DX is a family of storage systems that utilize common software and provide block storage and, with some models, file access.  The current hardware models include both the S3 versions and the more recent S4, indicating a generation are the S4 for the entry and midrange enterprise market, with S3 models for the high-end.  There are a number of different models in the DX family as listed:

High-End Enterprise

  • DX8900 S4 – 2 to 24 controllers, block access
  • DX8700 S3 – 2 to 8 controllers, block access

Midrange Enterprise

  • DX600 S4 – dual controllers, block and file access
  • DX500 S4 – dual controllers, block and file access

Entry Enterprise

  • DX200 S4 – dual controllers, block and file access
  • DX100 S4 – dual controllers, block and file access
  • DX60 S4 – dual controllers, block access

The Fujitsu ETERNUS DX family of storage systems are designed for enterprise and distributed environments requiring high reliability, availability and serviceability features.  The family of ETERNUS DX systems varies in scale of the number of controllers, capacity, and interfaces.

The ETERNUS systems support connectivity via FC, iSCSI, SAS, or FCoE for block mode and Ethernet for file access. The systems vary in the size of the enclosure for the base unit with additional 2U expansion trays for 2.5” or 3.5” devices and a high-density 4U enclosure.

With the S3 and S4 generation of ETERNUS DX systems, Fujitsu offers extended cache beyond the DRAM cache using PCIe flash cards installed in the system.  Up to 5.6TB of flash cache called Extreme Cache is supported except for the DX8700 and DX8900, which can use SSDs for cache extension.  The S4 generation moved to the next generation of Intel processors and added larger capacity device support.

The Fujitsu DX line of systems share hardware and software features across the lineup, with higher end systems typically offering more cache, ports and total capacity. Common elements include drive trays, management GUIs and support for replication between systems.

The ETERNUS Snapshot Manager uses CommVault IntelliSnap technology to create periodic snapshots and maintain a catalog of all snaps for near real-time recovery of data.

Additional cost items include support for local copies and mirrors, as well as remote replication and advanced management software options.

Usage

The Fujitsu ETERNUS DX systems are general-purpose block and file storage (some models) designed for use in enterprise environments as primary storage for multiple tier-1 workloads.  Performance may be scaled by adding additional controller cache, SSD drives or a combination of these.  Capacity may be scaled by adding additional drive trays.  The high-end DX8900 and DX8700 can scale with multiple controllers.

Additionally, with replication interoperability between other members of the Fujitsu DX family, ETERNUS DX systems enable the deployment of smaller systems at remote and branch office systems that are able to replicate to centralized Fujitsu DX enterprise data-center systems.

  • Characteristics
    • Performance – Fujitsu publishes results for both SPC-1 and SPC-2 benchmarks. The StoragePerformance.org website should be consulted for the latest information.  Historically, Fujitsu block storage systems have excellent performance and very good price performance.
    • Availability – Dual controllers provide non-disruptive HA. Multiple controller models work in a paired controller configuration.
    • Replication for BC/DR – Both asynchronous and synchronous remote replication is available to other Fujitsu DX systems
    • Support for VMware VAAI and SRM with an SRA.
    • Compression and deduplication selectable by volume
  • Applications
    • Fujitsu’s DX systems are targeted at enterprise applications either physical or virtual requiring high performance and capacity, or consolidating several smaller workloads
    • Web and client based GUI along with thin provisioning are included at no cost.
    • Additional cost software includes thin provisioning, snapshots and replication
  • System environments
    • The DX systems provide block storage using direct Fibre Channel (FCP), iSCSI, or FCoE with standard host drivers. File storage is supported as a NAS system with Ethernet interfaces for some models.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • For customers without the required knowledge, Fujitsu and certified resellers offer rapid deployment services.
    • Several management consoles are available, including a web browser GUI and Storage Express and for multiple nodes
    • Remote Call Home support is also available and is enabled through a service processor, which may be deployed as a virtual machine.

Evaluator Group EvaluScale: Fujitsu ETERNUS DX – SAN Storage

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area.  The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the  Evaluator Series Evaluation Guide. Download the product brief now to view the Evaluscale for this product.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for Fujitsu ETERNUS DX

Fujitsu ETERNUS DX is a family of enterprise systems with highly resilient block storage and some mid-tier and entry models also supporting file access.  The DX systems are currently at the S3 generation representing the hardware and software generation.   A full suite of advanced features are also available with the exception of tiering of LUNs to clouds/object storage.

Even though the systems have very similar architecture and execute relatively the same base software, Fujitsu offers only the high-end systems as scale-out.  Other models in mid-tier and entry level are very traditional dual controller systems.  We would think that delivering scale-out in the mid-tier as being a competitive offering that Fujitsu could deliver.  For the largest system, the DX8900, the scaling to 24 controllers for block storage makes this one of the largest systems and should be a consideration for many customers.

Evaluator Group believes the resiliency built into the ETERNUS systems will appeal to many customers where reliability is a critical issue.  The maturity is represented by the generation and the attention to details in integrity and availability.  However, few updates have been released or at least there has been little promotion.


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