EMC World 2013 took place in the Venetian Hotel and Sands Conference centre on 6th-10th May 2013. Attended by over 12,000 staff, partners and customers there were several product announcements and a range of upgrades to existing technology. The main points of interest were as follows;
- ViPR (pronounced Viper); The major announcement. EMC’s entry into the world of Software Defined Storage. ViPR will be (initially at least) an appliance designed to abstract the control plane and data plane. The control plane will effectively be a storage hypervisor, managing the storage (data plane) underneath, which on day one will be EMC’s VNX, VMAX or Isilon and any NetApp arrays, other vendors to follow. The Data plane can be commodity storage in the future. First products due to ship late 2013, so final verdict is reserved until then. Initial release sounds very much like a Gen 1 product, so expect push back from other vendors, but the roadmap sounds fairly compelling, and comes under the “product to watch” category”. Rumour has it that EMC belief this to be their best Gen 1 product yet released, and is their future. ViPR will offer pooled storage resources presenting Block, File and Object based presentation and include simplified management and automation. Full review in a separate post.
- Pivotal – Announced before EMC World, but had a lot of focus, Pivotal is a partnership between EMC & VMware with GE investing heavily, this is designed for next generation Cloud and Big Data applications. Pivotal splits into three areas; Data Fabrics, Application Fabrics and Cloud Fabrics. Pivotal 1 launched late 2013, again one to watch
- XtremIO – Available now in limited quantities but a big focus. EMC’s All-Flash Array (AFA). Provides a lot of the functionality expected of Enterprise class arrays, combined with very high performance. Want to see one? Contact me, I’ve got one!
- EMC Velocity Partner Program – the partner program changes to allow all partners to be “Business Partners” with specialities in relevant areas. Look out for Computacenter changing from one “Velocity Signature Solution Centre” logo to about 20 different Business Partner logos. Those PowerPoint slides suddenly got very busy.
- Isilon upgrades – Isilon is proving to be an excellent acquisition for EMC, look out for forthcoming enhancements including deduplication, auditing ability and integration with HDFS, combined with additional scalability. Also the required enhancements to the SynqIQ replication functionality are being delivered.
- SRM Enhancements – New suites of management products, sharing a common interface with ViPR. Let’s face it – these were needed.
- Continuous Availability enhancements – The ability to combine VSPEX + VPLEX is designed to eliminate complexity in this area for relevant customers
- VNX upgrades are on the way, but still under NDA (if you are internal ask me nicely)
- BRS (Backup & Recovery Services) – Enhancement to the Data Domain range, with further development in Avamar technology means this remains a focus areas for both EMC and partners.
Summary; EMC World remains one of the Must-Attend events in the industry. Whilst some of the announcements are of future products which are work in progress, theses do give an insight into the direction the company is going. Joe Tucci stated that EMC will remain true to its roots, but with an increasing investment in software based products. EMC World proved a worthwhile investment in time.
“ Data is the new oil”
“The most valuable currency in the world is not money, it’s information”
– A couple of great quotes written by people much more eloquent than me. However I do have one of my own ;
Data is the new rock’n’roll
Just as rock’n’roll transformed music scene the use, and future potential use, of information is dramatically changing the landscape of a data centre. Historically the storage array was effectively the drummer of the band, required but sitting fairly quietly in the background, and whilst a vital component it was not necessarily the first thing people thought of when putting the band together. Even now, if you look at a picture of any band, the drummer is the one hanging about aimlessly in the background, try naming the drummer in any large and well-known bands; it’s much harder than you think. And so it was with storage and data; the storage array would sit somewhere towards the back of the datacentre whilst the shiny servers were the visible component, and the items that got the most attention.
As we hit 2013 that all changes; the storage array is the Kylie of the datacentre, it’s the sexiest piece of equipment in there. And so it should be given that upwards of 40% of a customer’s IT budget is spent simply on provisioning the capacity to house data.
At Computacenter, we’ve made a large investment in our Solution Centre. Whats sits in the front row now? Of course it’s the data arrays; with the latest technology from EMC, HP, HDS, IBM and NetApp all showcased. Why is it front row? Obviously as it’s the most important component of any solution nowadays. And of course, it looks sexy, or is that just me?
The storage array is now front and centre, it’s the first component to be designed when re-architecting an environment. Why? Simply because a customer’s data is their most valuable asset, it’s transforming the way people do business; it’s changing the way we interact with systems and even each other, your data is now the lead singer in the band.
Data is the one thing that is getting attention within the business; it’s the one thing you have making the front pages of “Heat” magazine – Where’s it going? What’s it doing? Is it putting on weight? Is it on a diet? What clothes is it in? Should it be in rehab? But as the manager of the data (or the band) there is one simple question that you want answered; how do I make money out of it?
And that, dear reader, is the $64,000 question. The good news is that is becoming ever more possible to use your data as a revenue generation tool, we are only starting to see business value being generated from data, as 2013 progresses we will see some niche players mature (and possibly be acquired), we’ll see an increased push from the mainstream vendors and we’ll start to see ways of manipulating and using data that we just couldn’t contemplate when the storage was simply providing the rhythm section.
Even converged systems, the boy bands of the decade, which perform in harmony always have one better singer than the rest, well he’s the data
So: Compute, Networking, and Software, the gauntlet is down; Data is the new rock God, it’s the Mick Jagger to your Charlie Watts, you want the crown back? Come and get it, but for now it’s all mine.
All the data architects out there can join me as I sing (with apologies to Liam & Noel) “…Tonight, I’m a rock’n’roll star!”