By Jake Roczniak, Senior Consultant
Daymark attended the 2014 EMC World conference in Las Vegas earlier this month. Not everyone can attend so we like to take some time to share our impressions of the event and to highlight various note-worthy products and announcements.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Redefine.” This continued the large rollout of software defined data center (SDDC) products and solutions started over the past two years at EMC World.
Starting with the software focused side of things; we saw the release of ViPR 2.0. This is EMC’s software defined storage solution that makes storage management, automation, delivery, and access simple. ViPR works by separating the control plane and the data plane utilizing a set of virtual machines to run the software to abstract physical storage into virtual storage pools to use. The newest version added support for block data services (previously ScaleIO), HDFS, Object, and more vendors such as HDS and even COTS hardware. One of the more interesting notes was the inclusion of the Centera API in this newest version - perhaps allowing an easier migration path through the storage abstraction.
Another large software release was Project Liberty - aka the VNXe storage array as a virtual appliance. You can deploy this in ESXi and then use any storage in the underlying infrastructure but with the look and feel of a VNXe. Major use cases could include giving each department their own development array and environment much easier, a multi-tenant environment where every customer gets their own VNX, or a remote office play with VNX to VNX replication becoming much simpler.
As for software enhancements, EMC announced Data-At-Rest-Encryption on the newest VNX series. This will prevent unauthorized access to data on drives after removal from the VNX and is hardware based directly on each Storage Processor. Many users have been looking for this type of encryption which does not require you to buy specific encrypted disks which come at a much higher cost. This also will allow you to encrypt only what you need to instead of the entire array - think an encrypted archive storage pool.
New Product Announcements
EMC announced some new products as well. The first is the EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (Project Nile). This is a hyperscale cloud storage infrastructure designed for large clouds, up to 2.9PB per rack. This is a fusion of EMC hardware, ScaleIO, and ViPR technologies. This product is mainly focused towards large cloud and content providers - not your average customer. Primarily EMC is going after the likes of Amazon and Microsoft cloud services, announcing that a do-it-yourself solution such as ECS is cheaper and more secure in the long run.
Secondly, the VNXe line was updated to include the new 3200. Many are calling this the first true converged VNX/VNXe. It now supports FC connectivity and can run as many as three times as many VMs as the model it replaces. Even though the VNXe line was primarily focused towards the SMB market to begin with, this newest entry is quite powerful and competes well with entry-level arrays from other vendors.
The last major announcement was the acquisition of a new company named DSSD. This is a stealth mode flash storage architecture geared towards I/O intensive in-memory databases such as SAP HANA, real time analytics, and other big data workloads. At the release they stated there was no product named yet, but expect a 2015 release, perhaps at next year’s EMC world.
Overall EMC World did not disappoint with a range of announcements across their portfolio. Over the next year we can expect to see a faster and easier cloud with more mainstream tier 1 type applications being positioned to run in the cloud. Many more EMC products will also be virtualized to join the VNXe, RecoverPoint, VPLEX, and others that have previously been announced. It looks like software-defined-everything is here to stay.