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EMC on Monday unveiled its VPLEX technology for virtualizing storage over long distances, promising the ability to eventually migrate data over any expanse and help customers adopt private cloud-based infrastructure.
VPLEX enables customers to share storage over great distances and build a truly dynamic data center, said Pat Gelsinger, president and COO for EMC's infrastructure products.
The Hopkinton, Mass.-based vendor introduced VPLEX just prior to the official opening of its EMC World technical and end-user conference, which is being held this week in Boston.
Brian Gallagher, president of EMC’s Storage Virtualization Product group, said that storage requires two components. The first is tiering, such as what EMC offers using its FAST (fully automated storage tiering) technology. The second is federation, which is the ability to easily manage all the storage within a data center.
With VPLEX, EMC is taking those two concepts to global data centers, Gallagher said.
VPLEX is good news for customers trying to define cloud computing, said Keith Norbie, vice president of sales at Nexus Information Systems, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based solution provider and EMC partner.
“People are a long way from the cloud now,” Norbie said. “But they’re eager for it.”
The majority of the world has fragmented data centers, Norbie said.
“They want to connect and extend those data centers,” he said. “VPLEX lets them embrace heterogeneous storage and the cloud. And most customers have heterogeneous storage, either for tactical, strategic, or legacy reasons.”
VPLEX is a series of appliances that allow access to EMC and non-EMC storage with a single product. It is array-aware, which Gallagher said lets customers leverage the investment they have already made in their storage infrastructures by taking advantage of existing storage array features.
Each VPLEX node, or engine, has two processor boards, and features the ability to tie the storage from multiple EMC and non-EMC storage arrays in such a way that data can be dynamically migrated from one to another, Gallagher said.
With array-aware abilities, VPLEX allows caching, replication, and automation between multiple arrays, and will over time support other vendors’ APIs, Gelsinger said. EMC also plans to open its APIs to other vendors as well, he said.
Next: Expanding VPLEX To Build Private Clouds