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The big change was the removal of the old Flare SAN operating system, a holdover from the company's pre-VNX days, and its replacement with a new Multicore Processing, or MCx, software, Lumenate's Shepard said.
"EMC currently is doing multi-core processing with software intelligence, including in the VNX," he said. "But with Flare, the software might flood one or two cores while the others remain idle. Now the VNX will have more cores and software that can manage them all. VNX now already offers high read speeds. But with the change, it will be better able to handle high write-intensive applications."
EMC has already started partner training on the next-generation VNX, EMC's Goulden said.
Goulden also said that the company is on course for the second-half 2013 release of its ViPR software-defined storage controller.
Goulden said ViPR works with existing EMC arrays, third-party vendor arrays and commodity storage, and it provides the ability to run a variety of data services including object storage, Hadoop File System (HDFS) for big data, and technology from the EMC-VMware joint-venture Pivotal.
"The ViPR controller allows a diverse set of storage arrays to be managed in a standard and automated way," he said. "And the automation the ViPR controller provides drives down IT costs and improves IT availability."
During the analyst question-and-answer period of the second-quarter financial conference call, Goulden was asked about EMC's software-defined storage strategy.
In response, he said that the company's Atmos cloud solution is currently offered as a software-defined storage solution, and that EMC plans to do the same with its ScaleIO technology for managing storage in multiple servers without a SAN, ViPR data servers, and VPLEX storage virtualization technology.
However, Goulden said, rather than EMC abandoning its storage hardware for a software-defined-only approach, the company will give customer a choice.
"The interesting thing is, in the vast majority of cases, I'd say in the vast, vast combination of cases, customers choose to buy both parts of the solution from us because they want the support, they want the integration, they want the qualification that we do."
EMC supports customers who want to run some of EMC's software on their own hardware as much as it can, Goulden said. "But our experience is so far that, given the choice, customers would like to buy the two together."