Cloud and Big Data Blitz at EMC World

Posted on May 22, 2012 By Drew Robb

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A popular tactic during World War II was to overwhelm an enemy with a massive array of rapidly deployed forces. Known as the blitzkrieg, this ploy seems to be being adopted by EMC of late.

A little more than a year ago EMC staged a worldwide web conference to release 41 products simultaneously. It must have been successful, as the company is at it again. This week's EMC World in Las Vegas witnessed a dizzying 42 new products in total.

"This year's EMC World isn't just about the sheer volume of announcements -- it's about impact all over the portfolio," said Steve Duplessie, an analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. "The company, already booming, clearly isn't sitting still."

While big data and the cloud are common elements among the many releases, the central message is what EMC regards as the shift to Hybrid Cloud computing with data at its core.

"The onset of virtualization, cloud computing and big data analytics have restored data to its rightful place as the center of IT gravity," said Pat Gelsinger, president and chief operating officer, EMC Information Infrastructure Products.

There were a few new items, but many of the announcements were more like a refresh of the company's entire storage, backup, virtualization and management portfolio to align it more closely with the above messaging. This article focuses on VMax, Isilon and backup, while another article looks at Atmos and VPlex.

VMax

VMax first saw the light of day a couple of year ago. Now, this week sees the release of a broader VMax family consisting of the VMax 10K, VMax 20K and the VMax 40K arrays. The 40K is said to be up to 3X faster with 2X more capacity than competitive offerings courtesy of up to 32 2.8GHz Intel Xeon 6-core processors, 2TB of mirrored (1TB usable) RAM, and twice as much internal bandwidth as the original VMax. On the capacity side, the VMax 40K supports up to 4PB.

Other features include optional 2.5" SAS drives and flash drives. These VMax arrays also come with Unisphere for unified management, Federated Tiered Storage (FTS) to deploy external arrays as capacity pools for Fully Automated Storage Tiering for Virtual Pools (FAST VP) or managed as pass-through devices. Note that FAST VP for VMax now supports IBM System z mainframes and IBM i servers. In addition, EMC RecoverPoint has been integrated across the VMax range. Lastly, the VMax OS known as Enginuity has been upgraded.

"The VMAX Family is purpose-built for Hybrid Cloud environments," said Brian Gallagher, president, Enterprise Storage Division at EMC.

Isilon

Last year's show highlighted the company's first rollout of Isilon-based tools following that acquisition. EMC World 2012 witnessed the announcement of the EMC Isilon OneFS scale-out NAS operating system (also known as Mavericks) with better data protection, security, system performance and interoperability.

"Mavericks is the marrying of big data with the security of enterprise IT," said Sujal Patel of EMC. "It provides role-based admin, authentication zones and better archiving, compliance, snapshots, failover and integration with VMware."

He listed throughput as 106 GB/sec concurrent or up to 1.6 million IOPS, which is said to be the world's fastest for NAS. This is achieved while bringing about 50 percent less latency compared to the previous generation. How much does it scale out? According to Patel, it can reach up to 15 PB in a single volume.

Backup and Recovery

EMC's Data Domain and Avamar backup products have been updated to work with a broader set of enterprise applications, workloads and processes. The Data Domain DD990 deduplication storage system is the latest and fastest box available using Data Domain technology. It comes with better archiving, extended retention and regulatory compliance capabilities, generally faster speeds and better protection. Avamar 6.1 software simplifies backup management and expands Microsoft Hyper-V support.

"Our mission is to give our customers the flexibility to architect their backup infrastructures strategically, leveraging the broad product choices and integration capabilities that EMC can deliver," said William "BJ" Jenkins, president, EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division

Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in California, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).

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