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EMC to use Solid State Storage in Array

EMC has announced (opens in new tab) that it will start selling flash memory drives in a bid to replace some of its slower disk drive arrays. However, although solid state drives are faster and more frugal when it comes to power consumption, they have an astronomically high price per gigabyte.

According to IDM, EMC will use the more reliable, faster, more expensive single-layer flash memory to produce ultra quick 73GB and 146GB arrays that will be positioned at the high end of EMC's product gamut in the form of the Symmetrix DMX-4 storage system.

Due to the fact that they don't require mechanical parts, solid state disks are cooler to run, less prone to mechanical failure and pack even more capacity per cubic metre.

The company says that using SSDs translates into a "98 percent reduction in power consumption in a transaction-per-second comparison".

However, the fact that EMC plans to sell those drives for 30x the price of comparative disk-based entreprise drives might prove to be a major obstacle.

But, as Robin Harris of StorageMojo (opens in new tab) acknowledges, it could also prove to be a window of opportunity for EMC's rivals - like IBM and Texas Memory Systems - who can push out SSD solutions at a lower price and nibble away EMC's market share.

EMC plans to use solid state drives from a little known manufacturer - STEC.

Northland Securities analyst Richard Shannon agrees that EMC's announcement (opens in new tab) is also going to give more legitimacy to a technology that has been waiting to blossom in the past two decades or so.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.