Photo by Sean Thulin
On Monday at EMC World I had a conversation with Brian Gallagher at the inaugural session of EMC Backstage. We took some live questions (Tweets) from the crowd, and Brian was able to follow up on his keynote speech with some great insights. I'd thought I'd share a few of them below.
Cloud in the Real World
During Brian's keynote, he displayed several videos to the audience that showed real-world customers deploying EMC cloud solutions with "enterprise-class" data integrity, performance, business continuity, disaster recovery, etc. In other words, three years after the "journey to the cloud" began, customers are successfully running cloud-style IT-as-a-Service offerings using the product set in Brian's Enterprise Storage Division. Service providers are building real-world, enterprise-class public clouds. One of the key enablers, of course, has been the introduction of VMAX Cloud Edition.
In fact, Brian pointed out that not only are Service Providers meeting their ITaaS goals with VMAX Cloud Edition, but there is strong demand for Cloud Edition from Enterprise customers as well.
FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) is going “Outside the Box”!
Most people understand FAST to tier customer data vertically between different layers of flash and disk drives. Brian described how these algorithms will evolve to also automatically move data horizontally to primary (e.g. a replica), secondary (e.g. Data Domain backup) and tertiary (e.g. public cloud) targets. And like any good computer scientist familiar with zero-based counting, Brian introduced the term "zero-ary" to eventually enable horizontal integration of FAST with all-FLASH disk array targets.
Why is this important? Because most customers will introduce all-FLASH arrays as an adjacent technology to their existing data centers. They will likely do this for specific workloads that require consistent low latency and high IOPS. Zero-ary integration between VMAX FAST algorithms and all-FLASH systems is a big win for customers that want to leverage their existing infrastructure as they introduce flash technology.
VMAX Gravitational Pull
Brian's keynote also described a unique VMAX future state: software features that will soon be able to run inside the system. This will allow software to run much closer to the data itself. Over time, a wide variety of virtual machines, including appropriate customer applications, will have the ability to run inside VMAX (as Brian demonstrated during his keynote by running virtualized VPLEX inside).
The EMC Backstage concept really allowed Brian to dive down into areas that EMC World attendees (physical or virtual) cared to hear more detail about. Brian and I also had a good laugh about the vFridge technology. During his keynote he had paused to grab an ice-cold water out of a fully functionally VMAX refrigerator. Some lucky EMC World attendee will bring that fridge home for their own personal use!
One final point raised by Brian is that this trend towards software agility and mobility is the reason why VMAX integrates so well into EMC's new Software-Defined Storage strategy: ViPR.
This was the first EMC Backstage session of the week, and the ability for EMC World attendees to Tweet questions directly to Brian made it an engaging session.
Time permitting I'll post the summaries with other EMC Executives in the days to come!