Big Announcements from EMC World 2014
by Scott Hogg, on May 9, 2014 10:42:01 AM
This week (May 5-8, 2014) was EMC’s annual conference, EMC World, held in Las Vegas, NV. During this event, EMC makes many product announcements and reveals their plans for the year ahead. In this post, I will review the most significant product announcements and information I learned at EMC World.
On the morning of the first day of the conference, EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci announced during the keynote that EMC has acquired DSSD (a company that makes rack scale flash storage systems). DSSD was founded by Andy Bechtolsheim who is famous for co-founding Sun Microsystems, founding Granite Systems (which yielded Cisco System’s network switches), investing in Google, and for his recent work at Arista Networks. DSSD is still in “stealth mode” and their website is purposefully devoid of any information about the company. However, EMC expects that DSSD will give them a strategic advantage with the next generation of server-attached flash storage systems. Their product is not available for purchase today, but it will be sometime in 2015.
EMC's CEO David Goulden also made several announcements at the keynote presentation on how EMC is redefining (“Redefine” was the keyword of the conference) data storage and infrastructure. This redefining initiative cuts across the whole of the EMC federation companies (EMC, VMware, Pivotal and RSA).
Goulden discussed how storage systems IOPS tended to fall off as demand and block size increased because of software overhead. He showed graphs of how the EMC XtremIO system performance stays consistent IOPS as utilization increased. He then announced the EMC XtremIO $1M performance guarantee. They had several intimidating guards around an EMC XtremIO chassis filled with $1M of U.S. currency as a demonstration of their commitment to this guarantee.
Goulden then announced ViPR version 2.0 and the formation of an open source community for this product. This is the newest version of their ViPR software-defined storage platform. EMC’s SVP Chad Sakac then delved into how, with EMC's ViPR 2.0 system, they now enable software-defined storage environments on top of EMC storage hardware and third-party and commodity storage systems.
Some of the technologies that I found most interesting are the EMC ScaleIO and VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) technologies. Both let organizations take advantage of local HDDs and SSDs on servers and create a virtual distributed SAN. The servers offer up their local storage to a software-defined storage system that replicates data across those servers. The end system has many of the features of a larger purpose-built SAN – like storage tiering, resiliency and efficiency – but at a low total cost of ownership.
EMC also announced their Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) Appliance (formerly called Project Nile) which leverages the latest ViPR technology and ScaleIO. The company claims that this could save organizations 10 cents per gigabyte of storage, which would give organizations public-cloud pricing and scalability for private-cloud environments.
At EMC World, there was also an announcement that VMware and Pivotal are integrating VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) and Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry (CF) product. This will allow organizations to develop PaaS offerings in public, private, and hybrid clouds.
During the conference, for everyone who carried two yellow cans of water around an area of the conference floor, EMC and Brocade each donated $5 to charity:water. Carrying the cans of water is an easy walk compared to the mile and a half that some people have to walk to get water back to their families. The non-profit organization charity:water helps bring clean drinking water to communities around the world. EMC World group helped to raise money to build multiple wells, each supplying drinking water for approximately 250 people.
From attending this conference it is clear that EMC has the broadest array of storage systems available. They are well on their way to the third platform with their federation of companies including Pivotal, VMware and RSA. The company is continuing to innovate their products and acquire new technologies like DSSD to stay competitive. EMC put on an excellent conference with fantastic hospitality that was both educational and fun.