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EMC VFCache brings fast performance with cache and flash-based storage systems
Posted on 7-Feb-2012 07:59. | Tags Filed under: News.

EMC Corporation has introduced a new server Flash caching solution called EMC VFCache. Together, VFCache and EMC Flash-enabled storage systems improve application performance by leveraging intelligent software and PCIe Flash technology—testing resulted in up-to 3X increased throughput while reducing latency by 60%.

With this announcement, EMC is extending Flash technology to the server and evolving the benefits of PCIe Flash technology from edge case social media and internet to mainstream mission critical applications such as Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. Read-intensive workloads with cacheable working sets, such as databases (CRP, ERM), OLTP, email, Web, and reporting can benefit from the powerful performance benefits of PCIe Flash.

VFCache combined with VMAX , VMAXe , VNX and VNXe storage delivers turbocharged performance with the protection (high availability, data integrity, reliability, and disaster recovery) for which EMC storage is trusted around the world. While VFCache is the next evolutionary step of EMC's Flash strategy—requiring no disruption to customers' existing storage architectures—it delivers revolutionary benefits.

VFCache is the latest in a line of enterprise Flash innovation firsts, beginning in 2008 when EMC was the first to integrate Flash drives into an enterprise storage array. Putting Flash drives into the storage array achieved an order of magnitude better performance—300X faster data access than 15K HDD. Now, placing Flash technology in the server on a PCIe card can accelerate performance up-to another order of magnitude—4000X faster data access than 15K HDD.

Coming in the next year, EMC will add deduplication technology to VFCache, enabling customers to achieve even more efficiency from Flash technology. Additional Flash capacity and form factors will also be supported. VFCache will also more deeply integrate with EMC storage management technologies, and additional integration with FAST architecture. EMC's vision for VFCache is delivering the industry's most comprehensive, efficient and intelligent I/O path from the application to the data store. The result will be a networked infrastructure that is dynamically optimized for performance, intelligence, and protection for both physical and virtual environments.

EMC says VFCache is the fastest PCIe server Flash caching solution available today. VFCache resides in the server, eliminating the need for hot data to travel through the network to the storage array—boosting throughput performance in some cases up-to 3X and reducing latency by 60%. EMC is offering the industry's best architecture—the PCIe Flash cards deliver better throughput and response, while using four times less CPU and memory resources than competing solutions.

VFCache extends the EMC FAST architecture to facilitate an intelligent end-to-end data tiering and caching strategy from the storage to the server. EMC 's focus on enabling customers to exploit the cost and performance benefits of FAST technology has catapulted EMC 's leadership in enterprise Flash ( see related announcement ).

Enterprise-Class Protection: VFCache enables customers to benefit from total protection with "write-through caching" to the storage array. When data is written to VMAX, VMAXe, VNX or VNXe storage, customers have the confidence of knowing data is protected by the industry's highest availability storage with data integrity, data reliability and disaster recovery. The information remains shareable and scalable—without any stranded storage.

EMC also plans an early customer access program for "Project Thunder" in the second quarter of 2012. "Project Thunder," optimized for high-frequency, low-latency read/write workloads, will build upon the advanced PCIe technology delivered in VFCache to leverage the power of Flash through a dedicated server networked Flash-based appliance.

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