EMC Corporation commemorated 15 years of technology innovation and market leadership with its flagship EMC Symmetrix family of networked storage systems. These systems continue to revolutionize the way businesses, governments and large corporate organizations store, manage and protect the information that matters most to their success. Last night, EMC marked the 15th anniversary with a customer reception, hosted by EMC Chairman Mike Ruettgers at the New York Stock Exchange.

With more than 68,000 systems shipped from its introduction in 1990 through the end of June, 2005 and with more than 400 EMC patents covering its technology, Symmetrix remains the high-end storage market leader and continues to set the standard for mission-critical high-end storage innovation.

From its inception, Symmetrix was designed with the flexibility to incorporate the latest technology in disk drives, memory and other components. This effort has enabled the storage platform to evolve to meet the ever-increasing data demands of enterprises and has provided customers with unparalleled investment protection. The first-generation Symmetrix 4400 Integrated Cached Disk Array (ICDA), with a total capacity of 24 gigabytes, was introduced in 1990. The seventh-generation system, the Symmetrix DMX-3, was introduced in July 2005 and features a Direct Matrix Architecture and maximum capacity of one petabyte (1,024 terabytes). The Symmetrix platform has continued to improve and evolve to meet the needs of data-intensive organizations worldwide and remains the most successful intelligent storage platform in history.

“EMC Symmetrix changed the game for the entire industry, and EMC really has never looked back since. This was the product that made storage an industry, versus a server peripheral. It’s right up there with the IBM mainframe and the Oracle database as sector leaders that have led their respective categories since their inception,” said Steve Duplessie, Founder, Enterprise Strategy Group.

When Symmetrix was first introduced in 1990, it represented a revolutionary way of storing data – utilizing the now-industry-standard technique of using software to make an array of small disk drives function as a single repository of information. Compared with traditional storage, this RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) technology, combined with unique software that staged the most frequently accessed data to electronic cache, provided extremely fast, space-efficient access to what were then considered large amounts of data.

EMC delivered the first production Symmetrix system to Sirius Software, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Today, a newer Symmetrix system continues to support Sirius Software’s development of high-performance database management tools. “In 15 years, we have never lost any data, which is pretty remarkable,” said Gary Gregory, President of Sirius Software. “EMC Symmetrix technology has always impressed us, and the people at EMC who have developed and supported it have impressed us even more. Symmetrix remains a key component of our data centre and provides us with the availability and performance we need to help our customers rapidly and effectively harness new database and application technologies.”

When first introduced, Symmetrix was primarily deployed in mainframe environments and rose to the #1 market share position in mainframe storage in 1995. That same year, Symmetrix was expanded to support connectivity to a variety of “open” systems from many vendors. Around the same time, unique software – EMC Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) and EMC TimeFinder – enabled users to remotely and locally replicate their data for a variety of purposes, including business continuity. This functionality continues to be the standard for replication. These innovations and the high level of functionality they brought served as a catalyst for EMC’s growth, vaulting the company into the Fortune 500.

As the Internet boom took hold in the late 1990s, Symmetrix became a key enabling technology with 9 of the 10 largest Internet service providers at the time relying on EMC Symmetrix for their storage needs. In 2003, EMC introduced Symmetrix DMX, with EMC’s unique Direct Matrix Architecture, which provided improved performance and an architecture that enabled performance to scale linearly with capacity. In August 2005, EMC began shipping the Symmetrix DMX-3, which incorporates state-of-the-art memory technology and is designed for a new generation of low-cost disk drives scheduled to begin shipping in 2006. The newest member of the Symmetrix family is the industry’s largest, fastest and most scalable high-end storage array.

David Donatelli, EMC Executive Vice President, Storage Platforms Operations, who helped market the original EMC Symmetrix, said, “With EMC Symmetrix, we have taken a system and consistently made it better with each succeeding generation while protecting our customers’ investment. Most of the highest-value features in Symmetrix were actually recommended by customers who, over the years, have asked us to help them solve specific problems. The success of Symmetrix over the past decade and a half is the direct result of delivering a system that meets customers’ needs and protects their investment when new technology and IT trends come along.”