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  1. Technology
November 14, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Alcatel NV has been very cagey about its video server line, but the reason turns out to be that the thing was another company’s unannounced product, that company being EMC Corp. At the launch of the Hopkinton, Massachusetts company’s disk arrays for client-server systems, Alcatel and Pacific Telesis Group Inc’s Pacific Bell announced that they would use EMC’s Media Server in Pacific Bell’s Cinema of the Future, which is also to use Alcatel’s Switched Digital Video Network A1000 AX Asynchronous Transfer Mode system, and is designed to bring high-definition movies, live sports and other events, to cinemas, convention centres and other venues US-wide. Alcatel’s system consists of the 1000 AX switch and various video coder-decoders for programme encoding and decoding. The Media Server combines the EMC Symmetrix Integrated Cached Disk Array storage subsystem with a media operating system to receive, store and send digitised versions of films and other multimedia applications over a fibre optic network. The media operating environment is that Continuous Media Operating System that EMC bought from a major computer manufacturer back in September: we now understand that the seller was, as we suggested at the time (CI No 2,500) Digital Equipment Corp. The operating system runs on a Pentium processor. EMC also announced an OEM agreement with Unisys Corp for its new ModArray Series of continuously available RAID storage systems: Unisys is offering ModArray to users of its U6000 Unix line as the OSS8000 Series. The SCS interface ModArray is a modular upgradable system offering 4Gb to 206Gb; it has options for dual active/active controllers with automatic controller failover and recovery and uninterruptible power supply support. The host system user interface provides for setting concurrent RAID levels 0, 1, 3 and 5. The new Centriplex Series of Integrated Cached Disk Array kicks off with the Centriplex Enterprise Series for virtually every major type of Unix server and network operating system. It plans Centriplex Backup in the first half of 1995, providing users with large databases on multiple open systems servers with high-speed back-up and restore of information, using client-server storage management software based on an enhanced version of Epoch Back-up from Epoch Inc, the company acquired by EMC in 1993. Centriplex uses EMC’s Mosaic:2000 architecture: up to nine servers – from the same or different vendors – can be attached to a single Centriplex cabinet, providing up to 432Gb of disk storage or 810Gb with an expansion cabinet, and up to 512Mb of cache. A few Centriplex ES systems will available this quarter with volume in January; the CX-16-S54 has 54Gb, 32Mb cache and six SCSI channels, the CX16-S360 has 360Gb, 384Mb cache and 16 SCSI channels. Prices go from $215,400 to $948,650.

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