EMC World Day One – Introducing ViPR

By Datalink

Monday was the opening of really, three different EMC events. EMC World is an annual event held for the EMC user community, Global Partner Summit the annual update for the worldwide partner community of EMC, and the SE conference for the EMC and partner presales technical community. An estimated 15,000 are in Las Vegas this week for the event. Datalink is well represented across all regions with 16 people attending. Datalink also has a booth in the Expo area.

The morning began with keynote address for the Global Partner Summit. Gregg Ambulos, senior vice president, Global Channel Sales at EMC, as well as several other EMC executives, welcomed almost 3500 partner attendees to the event. Five minutes into the event, there was our very own Kent Christensen on the big screen, in a video talking to the value of VSPEX to the partner community. The big news for the partners is: EMC’s focus on the channel is paying off with greater than 50% of EMC’s revenue in 2012 being done by the partner community. In addition, EMC announced they will consolidate all EMC partner programs into a single program effective 2014.

From a direction /strategy standpoint, EMC re-emphasized the cloud and big data with the addition of a third pillar of this strategy: trust. Trust will focus on the need of protection of information, whether in the cloud or in the enterprise. This RSA focused strategy will look at new ways of analyzing threats in the IT ecosystem.

In keeping with the software defined data center focus introduced last fall, EMC did announce an interesting software application called ViPR. EMC ViPR is a lightweight software platform that abstracts existing storage arrays into a single pool of virtual storage. EMC software adapters connect to the underlying arrays, similar to how PCs and Macs use universal device drivers to connect to peripherals. This approach creates an extensible “plug and play” storage environment that can automatically discover and map to different arrays and understand their unique attributes. In the first release, ViPR supports EMC VMAX, VNX, VPLEX, RecoverPoint, Isilon, and Atmos storage, as well as third-party NetApp storage.

So what’s the big difference with ViPR? It’s the “divide and conquer” approach to the Data Plane and the Control Plane. ViPR uniquely manages both storage infrastructure (in the Control Plane) and the data stored within that infrastructure (in the Data Plane). ViPR decouples the two, allowing the use of both together — or enabling customers to use only the Control Path to manage the underlying storage arrays. In addition, through open API’s, ViPR can map file and object storage to and from cloud service providers.

Other recent announcements are being covered extensively in the breakout sessions. Some Monday sessions included:

Data Domain (DD) OS version 5.3 available later this month, will extend DD’s abilities to now include support for NetBackup AIR and Accelerator. Other new functionality includes more archive app integration to data retention functions, better Mtree functionality and concurrency based on the model of DD, multiplexing for Boost RMAN without giving up deduplication or performance, Boost for fiber channel, Boost support for oracle across the traditional Unix platforms. Lastly 3TB disk shelves were added to decrease footprint and power requirements, particularly for archive applications.

In 2013, Avamar will offer some significant improvements as well. The capacity recovery process is now a background process giving Avamar 24 x 7 availability for backups. Virtualization functionality has also increased with several new features, such as instant access to VM, vSphere Web client, self-service restore, dynamic policies, multi-streaming, and instant access to VM on DD System.

Look for more EMC World news in the coming days.