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For EMC, the focus with ViPR is bringing customers' existing storage into a software-defined layer as a way of simplifying their infrastructures, EMC's Ratcliffe said.
"If you look at how storage is constructed today, it differs from platform to platform, and from vendor to vendor," he said. "ViPR makes it easier for managers to do their jobs of providing storage to customers."
Vikram Bhambri, senior director of product management for EMC's Advanced Storage Division, said software-defined storage should provide a significant degree of automation, policy-based management and end-to-end visibility on what's going on inside the storage systems.
ViPR, which is scheduled to be available sometime in the second half of 2013, at first will allow data to be stored as files and treated as objects, Ratcliffe said. EMC will gradually add other services as well, including replication, migration and data protection, he added.
ViPR initially will bring storage functionality from EMC and rival NetApp's intelligent storage arrays into a software-defined level, with arrays from other vendors scheduled to be added later. That includes EMC's VMAX, VNX, Atmos, Centerra and Isilon. Ratcliffe said ViPR takes advantage of APIs provided by other vendors to grab the functionality of their arrays.
Going forward, ViPR will work with commodity storage hardware as well, Bhambri said.
PUBLISHED MAY 6, 2013