EMC CLARiiON CX4-120 Series

EMC CX4-120 Storage Platforms

  • Product Info
  • Features
  • Resources
  • Specs
  • Comparison
  • Options
  • SSD
  • Support

EMC CLARiiON CX4-120: Product Info

EMC's CLARiiON CX4-120 provides entry level networked storage for departments or midsize organizations. The CLARiiON CX4-120 combines the CLARiiON proven 99.999 percent availability with innovative technologies like virtual provisioning, 64 bit operating system, and multi core processors. The EMC CX4-120 scales from 5 up to 120TB of capacity.

The EMC CLARiiON CX4 Model 120 is a scalable, dual controller system with varying amounts of cache, processor cores, disk drives and interfaces. As a storage system, the CLARiiON has had a long and successful run with earlier generations from Data General and multiple generations from EMC. The underlying design has been incrementally changed with continued improvements and features. The CX4 Series is another incremental generation of CLARiiON.

The CX4-240 provides great performance and scalability in a midrange array. With the ability of 1Gb and 10Gb iSCSI, 4Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel to coexist on the same array, the CX4-240 shines in usability. Other standout features of the CX4-240 include: cutting edge storage networking technology like FCoE can be easily integrated when available, designed to help reduce your power and cooling costs, Enterprise Flash Drives automated performance tiering and up to 2TB cache help deliver performance gains, and Unisphere-simple integrated management that delivers superb user experience.

EMC CLARiiON CX4-120 delivers:

High End Capability in Midrange Storage CX4-120 offers massice scalability in capacity and performance.
Great Scalability and Capacity Potential Ideal for very heavy transaction processing including maximum speed large block data transfers, backup to disk, audio/video streaming, replication, data warehousing and highly compute intensive applications, such as seismic data analysis, computational chemistry, genomic sequencing. Supports up to 120 hard drives in a mix of capacities and technologies, including enterprise flash, Fibre Channel, and Serial ATA. Customizable connectivity with up to 256 high availability hosts in a SAN and a mix of storage networking technologies across eight I/O slots.
Storage Connectivity UltraFlex  modular I/O technology offers the flexibility to easily add more Fibre Channel and/or iSCSI ports to your array as your needs change. You can also easily add future network technologies such as FCoE once it is available, giving you superb investment protection by enabling compatibility with future storage networking technologies.
Eco-Friendly Innovation

The CX4-120 delivers features such as drive spin down and variable speed fans that deliver environmentally conscious storage to help reduce power consumption. It also can be equipped with low power disk types such as 5.4K SATA and Enterprise Flash.

Easily Adapt to Change

With support for up to 120 drives, the CX4-120 can expand to serve small datacenters who need hundreds of terabytes of capacity for physical or virtual servers.

Seamless Data Movement  New optional features help you experience new gains in efficiency and simplicity by more flexibly using the compelling performance of Enterprise Flash Drives along with the capacity of SATA.
Fast Cache The CX4-120 offers a compelling option for performance optimization which transparently uses enterprise flash disks as read-write second level system cache for workloads on the array.
FAST Fully Automated Storage Tiering is an option that moves high performance workloads, in 1GB chunks, to enterprise flash to enhance responsiveness. FAST can also move low performance workloads from Flash or fast Fibre Channel disks to SATA disks to optimize for cost/GB.
Simplified Management and Data Protection Dell / EMC CX4 arrays now support a new management paradigm, called Unisphere. This new user interface is designed to deliver simple, task-based administrator control that can cut your time spent, improve reporting, and automate essential tasks.

EMC CX4-120 Resources, Reports, & White Papers


CX4-120 Specification Sheet

In depth specifications: Look at EMC CLARiiON's CX4-240 specs under a microscope.

CX4 Series Specification Sheet

In depth specifications: Look at EMC CLARiiON's CX4 series specs under a microscope.

CLARiiON Integration with VMware ESX Server

This document provides a detailed summary of the design and configuration of an environment inorporating the EMC CLARiiON CX4-240 using Fibre Channel protocol for use with VMware View.

CX4 Series Analysis from The Evaluator Group

This whitepaper provides a full analysis of the EMC CLARiiON CX4 series from The Evaluator Group.

CX4-120 Exchange 2010 Resiliency

This document provides information on the CX4-120 Mailbox Resiliency storage solution for MS Exchange 2010 based on ESRP.

CX4-120 System Configuration and Specifications

Max. Raw Capacity: 120TB IOPS Cache Burst Rate:


Max. Cache: 6GB NAS/iSCSI Support: Yes - iSCSCI/NAS Optional
Max. HDD Count: 120 Model Upgrade Options: CX4-240, CX4-480, CX4-960
Min. HDD Count: 5 Performance Specifications Bandwidth to Host: N/A
HDD Support:



146GB FC 15K


300GB FC 15K

400GB FC 10K


450GB FC 15K

600GB FC 15K

600GB FC 10K





OS Support:




Red Hat Ent. Linux

Sun Solaris




RAID Support:



RAID 1+0




Host Connections:

1Gb FC

2Gb FC

4Gb FC

8Gb FC


10Gb iSCSI

SPC-1 IOPS Benchmark:


MB/s Transfer Rate: N/A
Fibre Bandwidth to Host: 4GB Non-Disruptive Options Component Replacement: Yes
Fibre Bandwidth to Disk: 4GB Hot-Pluggable Disks: Yes
Dual Controllers: Yes Microcode Updates: Yes

CLARiiON CX4 Model Comparison

EMC CLARiiON CX4 models:

  CLARiiON CX4-120
CLARiiON CX4-240
CLARiiON CX4-480
CLARiiON CX4-960

Maximum Array capacity

120 TB

234 TB

474 TB

954 TB

Maximum HA hosts





Maximum LUNs





Storage System Host ports

4 FC and 4 iSCSI

4 FC and 4 iSCSI

8 FC and 4 iSCSI

8 FC and 4 iSCSI

System memory

6 GB

8 GB

16 GB

32 GB

Maximum Drives per system




480 or 960

Supported Disk types

Fibre Channel, SATA II, LP SATA II, and Enterprise Flash Drives

Fibre Channel, SATA II, LP SATA II, and Enterprise Flash Drives

Fibre Channel, SATA II, LP SATA II, and Enterprise Flash Drives

Fibre Channel, SATA II, LP SATA II, and Enterprise Flash Drives

Host OS supported

Windows*, Linux*, Solaris*, HP-UX*, AIX*, VMware*

Windows*, Linux*, Solaris*, HP-UX*, AIX*, VMware*

Windows*, Linux*, Solaris*, HP-UX*, AIX*, VMware*

Windows*, Linux*, Solaris*, HP-UX*, AIX*, VMware*


* iSCSI Connectivity

SANStorageDirect: EMC CLARiiON CX4-120

EMC CLARiiON CX4-120 Storage Success

Methods to Increase Success unsing EMC CLARiiON CX4 Storage Platforms


EMC CLARiiON CX4-120 Storage is a valuable component to any storage infrastructure. However, this platform is not accessible to every storage environment based on budgetary constraints, or it is believed that scalability within the CLARiiON EMC platform will be a burden on storage budgets. This is a myth and we will delineate the myth from reality in how you can easily and feasibly implement and scale CX4-120 EMC storage platforms within your storage environment.


1) EMC CX4-120 systems come in many shapes and sizes; determine which best suits your needs and understand the compatibility of that system between CX4-120 DAE's and HDD's


2) CLARiiON CX4-120 systems scale very easily and to a great data size; understand how much data you need and how this data needs to be accessed. Use this information to determine the drive type most relevant to your data. In many scenarios, you do not need FC or iSCSI; SATA drives work very well in many applications.


3) Performance vs. Practicality in EMC CLARiiON CX4-120 systems: Sata vs 10K vs 15K and even taking Solid State Drives into consideration. Which is best for you and which presents the best cost/benefit ratio? This evaluation must be done by your team as well as the vendor you decide to work with. In no way is this a cookie cutter analysis or solution, so don't approach it in that mentality.


4) Feasible Scalability in CLARiiON EMC: Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is priceless. Look into the future, analyzing data trends and predicting growth patterns are sure fire techniques to prevent chasing your data growth curve. Staying ahead of data growth provides the ability to control growth, predict when and how upgrades are implemented, and, most importantly, allows the needed time to properly implement the correct upgrade for each scenario.


5) Getting the Most out of your EMC CX4-120 Storage:

  • More Spindles = Higher Performance: Instead of a DAE populated with 300GB 15K drives, consider 4 DAE's populated with 76GB 15K drives. This provides less weight on each drive and more spindles across the system, allowing a higher access rate and speed.
  • Always explore the Used/Refurbished CX4-120 EMC Storage route: Used and Refurbished CX4-120 EMC storage options can save up to 70-90% off of EMC list price in many situations. Pursuing this route will open many opportunities for your company to rapidly and efficiently expand within your Storage Environment. Upgrades, DR Systems, Test/Dev environments, QA systems are all much more feasible when taking Used EMC CX4-120 Storage Solutions into consideration.
  • Find the best RAID configuration for you: RAID has a major impact on raw vs. usable data size. Take this into consideration when implementing a RAID policy across your storage systems.

Maintenance & Support: EMC CLARiiON CX4-120