EMC Corporation has unveiled new technology that advances virtual storage, a key component of a private cloud. The new EMC VPLEX technology is a new approach to data access and mobility. It will ultimately allow organizations to non-disruptively move thousands of virtual machines and petabytes of information over thousands of miles, schedule daily batch processes in locations with lower energy costs, easily shift IT operations out of the way of regional disasters, and dynamically balance workloads as the business day progresses around the globe.
EMC VPLEX, combined with other EMC Virtual Storage technologies like FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) are transforming storage arrays in the same way server virtualization technology has transformed physical servers – from dedicated single-purpose machines to highly efficient, flexible, aggregated resources shared across multiple operating environments and geographies.
The federation of compute and storage resources together allows entire data centers to be virtualized and managed as a single resource. This allows organizations to rethink their entire data center strategies, their locations, the number of them and ultimately the role that each plays in the overall IT environment.
A key to virtual storage is the federation of distributed storage arrays, which is a component of the new VPLEX technology. Federation transparently pools the resources of multiple storage systems locally and over distance and allows them to work together. Federated storage is not only more efficient than its physical predecessors; it also allows IT organizations to aggregate separate data centers and service providers into a large virtual data center.
EMC VPLEX represents a major step in the journey to the private cloud and IT as a service. EMC VPLEX combines scale-out clustering and advanced data caching with unique distributed cache coherence intelligence to allow data to be accessed and shared across hosts and clusters within and across data centers. In addition, VPLEX is architected to be “array aware” to preserve investments in existing storage infrastructure and software functionality while adding new value through federation and the ability to pool resources over distance. EMC’s approach to distributed cache coherency is the unique technology that addresses the inherent challenges of latency, bandwidth and consistency that arise when regularly accessing and relocating large amounts of information over distances in real time.
EMC VPLEX Local and VPLEX Metro are the first two products to utilize this new technology. A solution that resides between the servers and heterogeneous storage arrays, each is comprised of high-availability VPLEX Engines that encompass two separate VPLEX Directors, each featuring high performance multi-core Intel Xeon processors, 32GB intelligent cache pools and 8 Gb/s (gigabit per second) Fibre Channel host and array connections. EMC has qualified the new VPLEX systems with major hosts, clusters, operating systems, virtualization platforms, storage area network (SAN) infrastructure, and EMC and non-EMC storage systems.
Future planned products include VPLEX Geo, which will enable asynchronous federation of VPLEX clusters to support requirements such as data center migrations/consolidation and application relocation over cross-continental distances. Also planned for future delivery is VPLEX Global, which will enable distributed concurrent data access and workload relocations across multiple global locations over both synchronous and asynchronous distances. These products, which will be rolled out beginning in 2011, deliver completely new computing and data center models that provide the foundation to fully enable the private cloud.
VPLEX is designed to be customer installable and EMC also offers a range of design, assessment and implementation services. In addition, EMC has strategic relationships with leading networking, virtualization and application partners to deliver integrated EMC Proven solutions that support customers’ industry, business and technical requirements. All solutions are rigor¬ously tested and documented with reference architectures and best practices designed to reduce total cost of ownership and ensure a predictable and reliable outcome.
The EMC VPLEX Local and VPLEX Metro systems are available immediately from EMC and can be purchased via standard capacity-based licenses or as a private cloud-based “pay-as-you-go” subscription licensing approach designed specifically for VPLEX.