Converged Infrastructure for Scale-out Data Lakes

For many organizations today, the rapid growth of unstructured data has put a spotlight on the challenges of a decentralized IT infrastructure burdened with data storage “silos” across the enterprise. These limitations include:

  • Complex management of multiple silo data sets
  • Inefficient storage utilization
  • Storage “hot spots” and related performance issues
  • Data protection and security risks
  • Inability to support emerging workloads

As many enterprises have experienced, converged infrastructure (CI) systems are a great way to easily eliminate silos, consolidate and simplify IT environments while addressing increasing demands on IT. Additionally, with the rapid growth of unstructured data, many organizations are attracted to a CI infrastructure strategy to implement a scale-out data lake. As used here, “data lake” is a large reservoir of unstructured and semi-structured data consolidated from different traditional and next generation application workload sources.  These next generation applications, including mobile computing, social media, cloud computing, and big data are fueling the enormous growth of this unstructured data.

Foundation for Scale-Out Data Lake

The storage infrastructure to support these next gen applications and scale-out data lakes must be highly scalable both from a capacity standpoint as well as performance. It must also have the operational flexibility to support a wide range of applications and workloads. One of the other great advantages of a data lake is the potential to leverage powerful analytics like Hadoop to gain new insight and uncover new opportunities by harnessing big data assets. To address these needs, VCE has just announced an exciting new product, VCE™ technology extension for EMC® Isilon that allows organizations to quickly implement an efficient converged infrastructure for scale-out data lakes.     

Designed to be deployed as a pooled resource with Vblock® Systems, VCE technology extension for EMC Isilon enables a scale-out data lake approach to the modern datacenter. This provides enterprises and service providers an infrastructure to consolidate unstructured data, support traditional workloads as well as next-gen applications, and enable in-place big data analytics using Isilon’s native HDFS support. These capabilities help organizations to reduce costs, simplify management, gain new efficiencies and accelerate time to insight while avoiding the need for separate infrastructure investments. Organizations that already rely on VCE to run their mission-critical applications and manage data can easily augment their existing environments with this new offering, VCE technology extension for EMC Isilon.

Isilon Scale Out Data Lake_1

The EMC Isilon Scale-out Data Lake can collect unstructured data from multiple workloads such as HPC, Mobile Home Directories, Video Surveillance, Large Scale Archives, File Shares, and more. A reservoir of unstructured data from different sources can become immediately available to have analytics performed against it.

What’s more, the source data can be written to Isilon using one protocol and then accessed using a different protocol. Isilon’s support for multiple protocols, such as NFS, SMB, HDFS, HMTL, etc. is a compelling feature that provides enormous flexibility and agility for next generation of applications. Given these points, Isilon’s ability to consolidate data from multiple sources and run in-place analytics strengthens the advantages provided by VCE Vblock Systems while extending its applicable use cases and accelerating adoption for next generation of applications.


In sum, VCE Technology Extension for Isilon allows enterprises to implement a scale-out data lake infrastructure that provides a number of advantages including:

  • Lower cost and increased efficiency
  • Simplified management
  • Increased operational flexibility
  • Faster time to service and market
  • Robust security and data protection

Another Important Advantage: The VCE Experience

By extending the full VCE Experience – engineered, built, validated, shipped and supported by VCE — to EMC Isilon, VCE is delivering virtualized cloud infrastructure systems optimized for traditional and next generation application workloads with scale-out data lakes. 

In addition to the technology and infrastructure capabilities, the VCE Experience helps IT executives drive agility into their operations and enable IT as-a-service, which makes IT more responsive to new business applications while shortening the time to provision new infrastructure.

VCE Technology Extension for Isilon offers a great value for organizations looking to implement an IT infrastructure for their own scale-out data lakes. Please let us know what you think.

About the Author: Carl Washington