Today is the first day of EMC World here in Las Vegas, and just a few moments ago during the keynote a new product was announced called EMC ViPR. Some of you might have heard about a project called Bourne (one of our worst kept secrets apparently), and this project now has not only a proper name but also a really cool logo 🙂
So just what is this ViPR thing? I’ll explain in just a bit, but let’s start by looking at the current state of the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) functionality across the board first. The past decade and a half has seen virtualization technology transform applications, servers and networks into software abstractions that enable data center and IT managers to build adaptive and agile data centers. The rise of the SDDC promises to build on the progress of virtualization by completely abstracting every component of the data center from its underlying hardware so that IT can truly deliver IT resources as customizable, on-demand services. This is the transformative potential. However, the reality is that storage hasn’t really transformed into an easily managed entity for a truly virtual data center. Unlike applications, servers and networking, storage and its valuable data is still too often tied to proprietary hardware. And that sucks.
Storage hardware and operating systems still vary much more than current server, client or network platforms. Storage platforms are incredibly diverse – even different arrays from the same vendor can feature different operating systems, proprietary APIs and unique feature sets. Every new IT endeavor might require a new storage array – be it block, file or object-based – optimized for that purpose. Out of necessity, storage administrators have become storage managers who spend most of their time managing arrays rather than optimizing information storage for the business. If enterprises and service providers are going to break from this pattern and be part of the evolution to a SDDC they need to fundamentally rethink storage.
And this is where ViPR comes in, to disrupt the status quo. EMC ViPR brings the same virtualization benefits enjoyed by the compute and network elements of SDDC to storage. EMC ViPR is a revolutionary approach to storage automation and management that transforms existing and new heterogeneous physical storage environments into a simple, extensible and open virtual storage platform. The value proposition of the SDDC and cloud computing – easily consumed IT services, simple API access, and single management view – is now finally available for storage. This also means that your management of storage, no matter if you’re using VMware, Hyper-V or OpenStack will look the same, behave the same and provide the same functionality.
At it’s core, EMC ViPR is a storage virtualization software platform that abstracts storage from physical arrays – whether file, block or object-based – into a pool of virtual shared storage resources enabling an easy storage consumption model across physical arrays and the delivery of applications and innovative data services. ViPR abstracts the storage control path from the underlying hardware arrays so that access and management of multi-vendor storage infrastructures can be centrally executed in software.
Of course, this is not just for EMC storage. I really hope you weren’t thinking that, as one of the coolest parts about ViPR is that it makes a multi-vendor storage environment look like one, big virtual array. ViPR uses software adapters that connect to the underlying arrays, and also exposes the APIs so any vendor, partner or customer can build new adapters to add new arrays. This creates an extensible “plug and play” storage environment that can automatically connect to, discover and map arrays, hosts and SAN fabrics.
And, because ViPR is software-defined, it can easily extend to support non-EMC arrays and integrate with cloud stacks. ViPR is the first truly open software-defined storage platform. Through de-facto industry standard APIs including Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift and EMC Atmos, ViPR frees data and applications from storage dependencies and enables IT to meet new workloads and use cases with existing infrastructure.
So to sum it up, ViPR is:
- Simple – providing easy storage provisioning, delivery and management across all arrays
- Extensible – maintaining the unique capabilities of underlying storage arrays (EMC and third-party) making it possible to seamlessly migrate application data across private, public and hybrid cloud environments
- Open – Everyone’s free to participate in the ViPR community, to help us and you to deliver the best services possible to your business
Stay tuned for more info on this awesome solution in the near future 🙂