EMC Rolls Out PCIe Flash-Based Storage Technology

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Over this year, EMC plans to add deduplication to the VFCache. Other planned enhancements include deeper intelligent features including enhanced array integration capabilities, distributed cache coherency for active-active clustered environments, and management integration with VMAX and VNX.

The VFCache is currently available. Ader declined to discuss pricing for the new solution.

The VFCache will be available direct from EMC and through specialty EMC solution providers with server and storage expertise.

EMC's next step in the Flash storage business is "Project Thunder," which is envisioned as a server network appliance, Ader said.

"Think of it as many PCIe cards put inside an appliance which is then connected to the server through a high-speed connection to deliver millions of IOs per seconds with microsecond performance," he said. "It could be InfiniBand, or PCIe, or high-speed Ethernet. That decision, we will make through our early adopter program."

"Project Thunder" is initially slated to be available to customers in the second quarter of this year through an early adopter program, Ader said.

EMC is no stranger to using Flash-based technology to improve storage performance. The company in early 2008 was the first major storage vendor to incorporate SSDs into its storage arrays.

David Flynn, CEO and chairman of Fusion-io, e-mailed a statement to CRN saying that EMC's new VFCache is a limited approach to solving data center data growth problems because is leverages Flash only as a cache for expensive backend EMC storage systems.

"In contrast, Fusion-io achieves application performance through the use of flash as a memory platform in the server. We believe ours is the optimal approach to maximizing data center efficiency and performance needs that increase in importance with the continued adoption of cloud computing. Customers don’t want to pay twice for reliable performance, and they don’t have to with Fusion-io," Flynn wrote.

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