EMC mega-launch targets hybrid cloud, big data

LAS VEGAS – With nearly 15,000 attendees making this its biggest user conference, IT infrastructure vendor EMC Corp.  has made its largest product announcement: Forty-two refreshes, updates and launches that span its portfolio and are designed to ease the journey into the hybrid cloud.

At EMC World, the vendor has been sharing its vision of the hybrid cloud with customers. It’s a world where customers regularly move applications and data between data centres and private clouds, depending on workloads and needs, and even public clouds for certain tasks. That hybrid model will require compatible infrastructure and management to make the transitions seamless, and that’s where EMC is focused.

“Cloud is creating a new architecture with pools of network and storage resources, and you don’t leave old applications behind because you can jack a new agile infrastructure underneath,” said Jeremy Burton, the company’s executive vice-president and chief marketing officer. “We think there will be hundreds of thousands of private cloud environments, and every organization will connect their infrastructure to these dynamic private cloud infrastructures.”

EMC president and CEO Joe Tucci added the debate over what kind of cloud will dominate – private or public – is pointless. There’s a place for both in modern IT infrastructures.

“I think it’s kind of a silly question,” said Tucci. “We believe firmly there will be tens of thousands of private clouds and thousands of new companies will stand up public clouds. It’s a world of both is what we believe.”

Highlighting the new offerings is a new VMAX line of enterprise storage arrays: the 10K for smaller virtualized environments, the 20K for large-scale enterprise deployments, and the 40K for “hyper-consolidated” enterprise environments. The 40K features distance scaling, which allows the units to scale across floors or lanes and still work together. And a software update allows federated tiered storage, which lets customers bring older EMC and third-party storage under a common management framework.

The goal of all the storage updates is to allow CIOs to make easy and quick decisions around shifting workloads between on-premise data centres and the cloud said Brian Gallagher, president of EMC’s enterprise storage division.

“We believe customers need the flexibility and choice to make these decisions on a daily basis,” said Gallagher. “We want to give the CIO a joystick that says ‘OK, app number over here, app number five other there.’ With VPLAX and VMOTION, we can literally move a workload and an application to another data centre in under 10 minutes.”

On the backup and recovery front, BJ Jenkins, president of EMC’s backup and recovery systems division, said customers are dealing with data growth, flat budgets and infrastructures shifting from physical to virtual. EMC’s focus here is faster performance, tighter integration and simplified management.

New offerings include a new Data Domain appliance, the DD990, with an Intel Sandy Bridge processor, 28PB of capacity through the use of deduplication and a maximum of 16TB per hour of throughput. And a new version of its backup software, Avamar 6.1, brings tighter VMware integration and new support for Microsoft Hyper-V, as well as SAP, Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

In the midrange tier flash storage is getting a lot of attention said Rich Napolitano, president of EMC’s unified storage division. EMC has learned that a little flash can go a long way, and has become a big part of EMC’s value-proposition.

“Using five per cent flash allows you to drive 70 per cent of your IO there, and that has allowed us to create new vertical and horizontal offerings that leverage this basic technological underpinning,” said Napolitano. “Driving IO to flash lets us move density to lower-cost drives.”

In response to criticism to EMC’s flash approach from active memory storage vendor Fusion-IO, Napolitano said EMC doesn’t believe going all-flash is practicable or affordable. Selective use of flash for performance benefits while leveraging cheaper traditional storage for less timely data is the approach they’re following.

New offerings here include the VNXe3150, a midrange storage array with 50 per cent more performance and capacity than the last-generation product, with management designed for generalists in virtual environments. There’s also new management connectors to VMware to give IT managers a better cross-domain view.

Finally, the coming together of the worlds of big data is a trend that Sujal Patel, president of EMC’s Isilon storage division, is addressing. He’s seeing lots of momentum around big data analytics, which is creating a big storage opportunity as well.

EMC’s answer to this trend is the next version of its Isilon OneFS scale-out NAS operating system. Code-named Mavericks and due out in the second half of 2012, it will feature improvements in data protection, security, system performance and interoperability to handle unstructured data.

(Jeff Jedras is assistant editor of Computer Dealer News. Follow him on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN)


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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
As an assistant editor at IT World Canada, Jeff Jedras contributes primarily to CDN and ITBusiness.ca, covering the reseller channel and the small and medium-sized business space.

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