EMC Upgrades, Replaces VMAX SP With VMAX Cloud Edition

This week may be all about security and EMC’s RSA division, but that apparently doesn’t mean the storage giant isn’t willing to sneak in an industry first, a self-service, enterprise-class as-a-service, cloud delivery platform that provides easy access to consume storage for public, private and hybrid cloud. According to a blog from Peter Conway, VP and COO, Product Operations & Marketing, EMC Enterprise Storage Division, it’s truly a fundamental change to the whole idea of what “enterprise-class storage” is, and how “as-a-service” delivery works for cloud.

‘The breakthrough is self-service access. It’s easy, flexible and fast—with enterprise storage attributes. It’s all made possible by the pre-engineered and pre-configured service levels that form a service catalog for tenants to choose from. Gone are engines, drives and nerd-knobs with VMAX Cloud Edition. It’s about right-sizing your storage for your application needs. Also, all of the service levels spring from the most powerful, Tier-1 storage in the industry: VMAX.’

The storage giant believes it is introducing a disruptive technology for enterprise-class storage, said Colin Bailey, Senior Director, Enterprise Storage Division of EMC. According to both service providers and mid and enterprise-size customers, the traditional approach to cloud IT involved a compromise or tradeoff, he said. Variables include control, cost and complexity, and two choices, trying to do it in house, or offloading to a third party.

“The F100 had the resources to do it themselves. The rest were facing those compromises. EMC VMAX Cloud Edition was the answer to how to provide that without compromise. “VMAX Cloud Edition accelerates the design and implementation of “as-a-service delivery” up-to 4.5X faster than any other multi-tenant storage in the industry today. According to EMC, it basically eliminates the steps to design/model/test service levels, create array configurations, and implement the configuration by automating these tasks. Users can provision storage 6X faster than a storage expert provisioning storage traditionally, the company said.

The new offering has everything needed to run IT as a business, said Conway, including tenant-level metering and chargeback or show-back reporting, as well as REST APIs to integrate reporting, operation and self-service into your existing management and orchestration layer. There’s also a linear cost model for predictable management of the business of cloud. Each service level – i.e. Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Silver or Bronze – is priced consistently per TB regardless of the quantity purchased, so private IT and cloud service providers can buy-in and scale-up without a cost penalty.

VMAX Cloud Edition expands upon the VMAX Service Provider (VMAX SP) platform announced last May, said Bailey. Designed to be deployed in as little as four hours, the SP edition featured pre-packaged service-level options—bronze, silver, gold and platinum—delivering specialized Quality of Service (QoS) availability features, a multi-tenanted, metered platform and seamless API integration to any service provider infrastructure. It also provided auto-provisioning by leveraging the new VMAX SP Intelligence Engine, complete with embedded cloning.

EMC learned a lot from the SP version, including some surprises, he said. One of the major surprises was scale. The service providers’ idea of multi-tenant is on the order of 250,000 tenants, whereas the classic storage vendors would measure tenants in the tens of thousands.

The company started to get large-scale demand from enterprises that wanted to implement their own private cloud. “We also started to get interest from the high-end midmarket that was interested in this new way to implement… so VMAX SP goes away and VMAX Cloud comes in.”

It takes about 5 minutes to set up, and comes with about 14 different service levels, said Bailey. The combination of automation, levels of simplicity, self-service, options and restful APIs so they can plug into any infrastructure a customer has are all powerful differentiators, he said.

While careful not to make any pre-announcements or commitments to EMC’s future plans, he said given what the company has done with initiatives such as federated storage, Bailey said it would make a lot of sense to manage both EMC and non-EMC storage, as necessary in a customer’s environment. “We will see more interest in restful APIs… and continue to beat on the automation and standardization drums.”

At the end of January, during the Q4 2012 earnings call, EMC reported an 8% increase in year-over-year revenue, and a 9% increase to $21.7 billion for the year. The performance clearly outpaced the overall IT market, said president and COO David Goulden, growing 9% against a total IT spend up 2%. “And in 2013, we’re forecasting to grow at 6% versus IT spending of 3%.”


Author: Steve Wexler

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