EMC unveils global virtual datacentre

EMC sees the future in virtual datacentres encompassing local and distant storage
Written by Matthew Broersma and Nick Heath, Contributor

EMC on Monday launched a storage platform that virtualises datacentre storage in different locations within a single facility, in different locations across a city and ultimately across international distances.

"We have created a dynamic datacentre, a set of resources that we believe fundamentally enables new models of computing," Pat Gelsinger, EMC's president and chief operating officer for information infrastructure products, told the EMC World 2010 conference in Boston, Massachusetts, yesterday.

The platform, called VPlex, is intended to bring virtualisation features — such as the federation of assets located over widely-spaced physical distances — to the world of storage by creating a single large virtual datacentre within a private cloud. EMC chief Joe Tucci said this private cloud infrastructure, combined with EMC's partnership with Brocade, was the answer to information chiefs getting on top of an "explosion" of corporate data and to driving down IT maintenance costs that he said typically swallow up more than 70 percent of the IT budget.

"We think that this vision of ours and our partners is embraced by CIOs," he said, adding that the IT industry had to "do things in a fundamentally different way of the future will be tough".

VPlex is based on a new technology called AccessAnywhere, which includes features that maintain the coherence of data caches distributed across multiple systems, EMC said. The VPlex products are based on VPlex Engines, each of which includes two VPlex Directors based on multi-core Xeon processors, 32GB cache pools and 8Gbps fibre channel host and array connections.

One variant, VPlex Local, features a single cluster with up to four VPlex Engines, with support for 8,000 virtualised storage volumes. The product allows companies to federate storage between different storage platforms within a single site or a datacentre, and is compatible with EMC or third-party storage systems. EMC said its trials showed the system can reduce data migration times by up to 94 percent.

VPlex Metro features two clusters with up to four VPlex Engines each and support for up to 16,000 virtualised data volumes, EMC said. It can link the two VPlex clusters within a datacentre or up to 100km apart, federating some or all of the storage volumes across both clusters as if they were local, shared volumes.

Future products in the VPlex line are planned for launch beginning next year and include VPlex Geo, designed for asynchronous federation of VPlex clusters over cross-continental distances. The product is intended for datacentre migrations and consolidation and application relocation.

VPlex Global will be designed for concurrent data access and workload relocations across multiple global locations, aimed at load balancing according to local capacity and demand and processing that takes advantage of lower energy costs, according to the company.

VPlex Local and VPlex Metro are available immediately, via capacity-based licences or private cloud-based subscription licences, EMC said, with the core AccessAnywhere technology appearing in other storage product lines later.

Editorial standards