What Happens In Las Vegas Goes On The Internet

Did you see any of the Hangover movies?

Well, EMC World is not like either of those movies. But, we do have pictures—and a video!

Unlike our heroes in Hangover, I know where I’ve been. It’s hard to forget a 16-hour workday spent in this whirlwind called EMC World. (Hope my boss is reading this part).  From pushing out three blog posts at 6:00 AM pacific time, to product sessions, through a number of analyst meetings, to the Solutions Pavilion floor, it was a long, exhilarating day. With more than 13,000 people in attendance, you could feel the energy in the air.

EMC announced a staggering 42 new products and technologies yesterday to speed your journey to the cloud. These introductions spanned all key EMC areas including storage, backup, virtualization, and software management.

The customers I spoke with were impressed. Plus, the many breakout sessions and exhibit floor demonstrations helped put the announcements into perspective, which made for a great customer experience. Don’t want to keep them guessing.  But, wait, there’s more.

What Happened

This broad technology refresh makes sense if you consider how the data center is rapidly evolving from silos to services. Many of these new products cast a wider net below the management layer to encompass other storage or to do more in the same or smaller footprint in our increasingly data-centric world or to provide infrastructure tools from the management layer on upward suitable for a services architecture.

EMC introduced the new EMC VMAX family, including EMC Federated Tiered Storage integrating customers’ legacy non-EMC storage assets into a unified pool of storage resources. Add support from EMC ProSphere which was also announced and overall storage management just got better.  

There were also additions to the EMC VNX line further scaling performance and capacity without increasing footprint. In this area, EMC and VMware extended their partnership to put the powerful visualization and patented analytics capability of VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite into the hands of storage administrators with the new VNX Storage Analytics Suite.

In addition, EMC Unisphere management, initially introduced with the EMC VNX series, was extended to VMAX and EMC VPLEX, providing a common user interface across the different EMC block-storage offerings. Similarly, EMC RecoverPoint continuous data protection got more tightly integrated into the VMAX with write-splitter technology now embedded into the operating system, and into the VPLEX line.

EMC Data Domain and EMC Avamar backup and recovery systems and software were also introduced. Similarly, the next version of EMC Isilon’s OneFS scale-out NAS operating system was announced for the fast-growing file-based, unstructured data storage market. The version will incorporate new levels of data protection, security, system performance and interoperability for the enterprise.

Where It Really Got Interesting

While the announcements mentioned so far were around storage and backup hardware and software, where it really got interesting was with the new software management products for enabling IT-as-a service (ITaaS). EMC infrastructure management vice president and CTO Sal DeSimone summed up the announcements in this area enthusiastically in an impromptu moment on the floor of the Solutions Pavilion at EMC World yesterday.

Sal cited that the underlying principles for the new data center:

  • Standardization—both in terms of services offered and infrastructure deployed
  • Automation—to bring efficiencies and improve productivity for a reduction in operating expenses or OPEX
  • Visibility and transparency—to provide insight into dynamic environments, especially across an increasing number of virtualization or abstraction layers

He then went on to discuss how the new infrastructure product announcements aligned to these principles, including EMC Unified Infrastructure Manager (UIM) for standardization, both UIM and the new AppSync application protection software for automation, and ProSphere and DataBridge for visibility and transparency. Hear Sal tell it in his own words.


Let’s look a bit deeper into these three (3) areas before looking where it all might be going.

  1. Standardization: EMC UIM provides converged infrastructure management across compute, network, and storage for single-SKU VCE Vblock Infrastructure Platforms. The just-announcement UIM release 3.1 further keeps to its promise to provide speed to service and now enables provisioning 30% faster than the previous release.
  2. Automation: Both UIM and the new AppSync application protection when released enable you to stand up new services with just a few clicks. AppSync offers a simple, self-service SLA-driven approach for protecting virtualized applications, initially Microsoft applications deployed on VNX arrays. After defining service plans, application owners can protect production data and recover data quickly with item-level granularity. AppSync also provides an application protection monitoring service that generates alerts when SLAs are not met.
  3. Visibility and transparency: The new release of ProSphere and the newly announced DataBridge provide visualizations into storage and infrastructure management. As announced, ProSphere release 1.6 adds support for the new VMAX family. DataBridge provides the ability for user-defined and user-developed visualizations combining data from a variety of EMC sources via the EMC Data Access API REST-based interface and non-EMC data sources.

DataBridge tasks get simpler as users move up through the architectural layers. More sophisticated developers can extend the software by producing re-useable components while non-programmers such as operations managers and business analysts consume these components using only the visual programming tool found in the browser-based dashboard.

Data-Centric Theme

During EMC chairman and CEO Joe Tucci’s keynote presentation, division president and COO Pat Gelsinger demonstrated many of the new products with the help of senior vice president Chad Sakac, including DataBridge customizations at the dashboard level. The underlying message here is around Pat’s “Planet Data” theme. We live in a data-centric world that requires tools that pull data together like from EMC infrastructure management and other data sources for greater insight into daily operations and for business intelligence analytics.

And, it doesn’t have to stop here. Rapid data growth and the corresponding exploding growth in storage call for new ways of thinking about how we access data, combine it, and present it.

About the Author: Mark Prahl

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