Software-Defined Storage: Separating The Reality From The Hype

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Because of EMC's storage software capabilities and its commodity x86 server-based hardware, the company has an advantage over software-defined storage startups that can provide only parts of the entire infrastructure, Srivastava said.

By making its APIs openly available, EMC can be at the center of the software-defined storage movement, he said. "Building a product is not enough," he said. "You need to build a community ... We're opening up APIs so new services can be built by partners or customers."

Srivastava also said it is important to remember that different storage hardware offers different capabilities, making it possible to differentiate one vendor's hardware from another's even as software-defined storage is adopted.

For example, EMC's Isilon line is designed for scale-out storage applications, while EMC's VMAX line is designed for performance and high availability. "I don't know how the mix will change or not," he said. "We're going to provide value with the unique systems we are building."

Srivastava said EMC is planning a second-half 2013 release of its first software-defined storage technology, which takes advantage of all the capabilities he outlined.



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