Software-defined storage (SDS) has become the latest marketing jargon to hit the IT organization. Based on the same concepts as software-defined networking, SDS has generated interest in the storage and virtualization markets, particularly after the high-value acquisition of Nicira by VMware.
EMC is the latest entrant into the SDS marketing bandwagon with the announcement of its ViPR.
Using ViPR, customers can manage both their existing storage infrastructure (using the ViPR Controller) and the data residing within it (using ViPR Data Services), enabling them to help drive improvements in automation and lay down a modern storage architecture for future application deployments. ViPR provides the foundation for building Web-scale data centers without the need to hire thousands of technical experts to create a custom environment. ViPR-supported storage includes the new EMC VNX unified storage platform as well existing EMC VNX, EMC VMAX®, EMC VPLEX®, EMC Isilon®, EMC RecoverPoint® and third-party arrays including NetApp storage.
Upon general availability, ViPR will deliver Object Data Services—a capability that sets ViPR apart from other solutions on the market. ViPR Object Data Services offer support for multiple standard APIs including Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift and Atmos in addition to giving customers the ability to view objects as files, providing near-file access performance without the latency inherent in current object storage models. ViPR Object Data Services are engineered to be deployed on any ViPR-supported file storage including the new EMC VNX unified storage platform as well existing EMC VNX, EMC Isilon® and third-party arrays including NetApp storage.
Future updates will be designed to add support for additional third-party arrays as well as commodity hardware. EMC also plans to provide a broader set of data services as part of the ViPR platform, including an HDFS Data Service which will enable customers to perform in-place Hadoop analytics across their entire heterogeneous storage environment.
This strategy of broad platform support and open extensibility means that customers can benefit from simplified management of their entire storage infrastructure with the freedom to choose the underlying platforms that are most appropriate for their particular workloads.
In addition, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2013, EMC Global Services plans to offer a new Software Defined Storage (SDS) Workshop that is the ideal starting point for EMC customers to implement ViPR for their IT environment. The half-day on-site workshop helps customers to identify their specific storage management, control, and automation needs to best maximize the ViPR platform. The workshop evaluates a customer’s application and storage environment and designs the optimum storage service catalog and service classification. A detailed roadmap provides a gap analysis between current state and future state using ViPR.
“ViPR simplifies a very complex problem—the management of heterogeneous storage environments while extending the functionality of existing storage arrays is truly powerful. There’s a macro trend in IT right now toward self-service, and ViPR is a first important step in making this real—and easy,” said Laura DuBois, Program Vice President, Storage at IDC.