I'm concerned that a large number of people might read his posts and assume that builders around the globe here at EMC need to get busy constructing this grandiose vision.
Truth be told: we've already delivered the first pieces into customer hands.
Another truth be told: we've been building these pieces for several years. For how long have we been building them?
Ever since the acquisition of VMWARE.
There was an announcement made at VMworld last fall that illustrates this point. The vStorage initiative announcement (further enhanced by Chad here), is proof positive that customers can now experiment with putting their "information wherever they need it to go".
The Celerra Virtual Storage Appliance
If the private cloud is about preserving existing applications and information, then the Celerra VSA can serve as a "bridge" for the migration of information out of "data center" NAS devices and into private cloud NAS devices. Celerra replication is one way to do this. Celerra developers have been working with VMWARE engineers for years to bring the totality of their software assets into conformance with the VMWARE environment.
IT gets to choose the backing storage of choice.
Do you want to dedup the Celerra assets? Fire up the Avamar virtual machine. Avamar VSA was also part of the September announcement.
Clearly these VSAs are viewed as simulators and not products. But you can see where I'm going.
Customers are already starting to kick the tires.
What About Points of Control?
Chuck also points out that in order for private clouds to be viable, IT personnel must have some knobs and dials for enforcing security and service delivery. Can security permissions and service delivery be controlled in a Celerra virtual machine? Absolutely. What happens if Celerra takes too much CPU? Constrain it using VMWARE.
The Internal vs External Choice
The final point Chuck makes about private cloud uniqueness is the flexibility of choosing whether your private cloud is hosted by your IT team or outsourced externally. My recommendation? Start with your Celerra VSA in-house. See how it goes. Don't feel like maintaining it yourself anymore? VM-Motion it right out of the building.
A little different than what can be done today, no?
Cold Bulk Storage
What could be next in the continued creation of new VSAs? I personally have my eye on the "cold bulk storage" paradigm mentioned by StorageMojo (who also references a post by James Hamilton). How can vStorage achieve economies of scale by recognizing infrequently accessed data?
Today we do it in hardware: Rainfinity's policy-based migration, for example, moves "cold" files over to Centera and replaces the file with a Centera content address.
Is it a stretch to state that these products could ship as virtual machines someday, especially when engineers build and use these VSAs every day? A Centera VSA would allow me to put my objects on a storage tier of choice, and shut the drives down when I'm done. Centera spin-down, again brought to you by your vendor of choice.
What if I want to globally distribute information between geographically dispersed private clouds? Can Atmos assets (which run on LINUX) be put in a VSA? Of course.
Private Clouds are Being Built
The vStorage infrastructure also has a strong multi-pathing story. Don't forget the announcement about VMWARE support for replication management, either.
Yes Chuck's in marketing.
But he's not blowing smoke.
Well, at least not this time.