EMC World 2014, An Advanced Software Perspective

EMC World 2014 took place in early May 2014 and it was made clear that the world of storage is changing, driven by industry-wide trends larger than any single company. In a time of great change, companies can be left behind, branding yesterday’s technologies as today’s answers, or companies can adapt, break out of their comfort zone, and do the hard work of rethinking their offerings and delivering new products to meet today’s (and tomorrow’s) challenges.

EMC World 2014 showed exactly what path EMC is taking.The week opened with a keynote from Joe Tucci, CEO of EMC, where he clearly laid out the upcoming storage challenge – a 10x growth in storage consumption over the next seven years (from 4.4 to 44 Zettabytes), with a corresponding 5x growth in storage managed per administrator by the end of the decade. The conclusion is clear – without increasing intelligence in the storage and storage management arenas, together with increased automation and self-managing storage arrays, we will drown in a vast sea of underutilized or useless data.

WP_20140505_020Joe Tucci, CEO of EMC viewing an Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) Appliance demo at the Advanced Software Division Booth at EMC World 2014

David Goulden followed, talking about this very intelligence in the form of ViPR Controller and its expanded capabilities. The ViPR Controller provides a common experience across storage platforms from multiple vendors, and the 2.0 release includes both an expanded set of native integrations as well as an OpenStack Cinder integration, allowing any storage platform which has integrated with Cinder to join the ViPR Controller environment. With these changes, there is a level of automation and intelligence added to existing platforms that allows administrators to manage these platforms in a more uniform manner, freeing the administrators from a number of day-to-day mundane tasks and allowing them to focus on storage at a data center scale rather than at a platform scale.

In addition, David Goulden introduced ECS Appliance which is a software-defined storage array for scale-out block and object storage. With ECS, a single array can dynamically serve either block- based applications or object applications, and the storage can be dynamically grown or reprovisioned between the services as necessary to meet the changing demands of the applications. This is powered either by ScaleIO, a scale-out block service with unprecedented performance and IOPs, or by the ViPR object service, which provides a unified storage substrate for storing massive quantities of data and processing it via a variety of interfaces, including via the Hadoop scale-out analytics interface.

WP_20140505_012David Goulden, CEO of EMC Infrastructure, takes a minute to pose with the ECS Appliance

More new products and capabilities were also discussed, including the new capabilities of active-active geographical replication in the object storage, support for raw commodity storage nodes (either bundled as ECS or unbundled on customer purchased approved hardware platforms), support for Centera applications, support for local erasure encoding protection, and support for site outage protection, not only with less overhead than storing a second protected copy of the data, but with less overhead than storing a second copy of just the original data!

About the Author: Mark O'Connell