EMC World: EMC Announces Second Generation ViPR Storage Platform

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EMC’s software-defined offering is now compatible with the majority of storage arrays on the market

Information management giant EMC has announced a new version of its software-defined storage platform.

ViPR 2.0, which includes a virtual storage controller and related data services, adds block storage capabilities and new geo-replication and geo-distribution features. It also provides support for commodity drives and additional third-party arrays through OpenStack.

The platform is aimed at customers who are planning to invest in Big Data analytics projects, although EMC notes that the software –defined approach could benefit any organisation.

The announcement was made at the EMC World 2014 conference in Las Vegas, and the product should be available for purchase by July.

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The ViPR family of products simplifies the management of storage infrastructure by abstracting physical drives into virtual storage pools and automating common tasks. EMC says that virtualising storage can improve data centre reliability, lower cost and future-proof the existing infrastructure.

EMC VNX storageThere are two components to ViPR: the ‘Control Plane’ based around the virtual controller lets administrators centrally manage storage array functions like discovery, provisioning and reporting. Meanwhile, the ‘Data Plane’ runs on top of the controller and allows doing things like giving object capabilities to file-based platforms.

The first iteration of the platform was announced exactly a year ago at EMC World 2013.

EMC says that the new version of the ViPR controller supports the vast majority of the storage arrays on the market, either natively or through the OpenStack Cinder plugin, including those from Hitachi Data Systems, Dell, HP and IBM. It can also run on commodity hardware.

It also extends support for EMC arrays, with improved integration and management of EMC VPLEX and EMC RecoverPoint.

On the data services side, ViPR 2.0 adds support for commodity drives in existing object and HDFS storage implementations. The virtualised storage infrastructure can now span multiple locations while offering patent pending geo-replication and geo-distribution capabilities.

The new version also introduces ViPR Block Services which are based on EMC ScaleIO software and can deliver block storage capabilities to any ViPR-managed commodity array.

“ViPR is the cornerstone of EMC’s Software-Defined Storage portfolio, it has been designed from the ground up to address the key pain points of EMC’s enterprise and service provider customers today, and into the future,” commented Amitabh Srivastava, president of Advanced Software Division at EMC.

“ViPR has been shown to reduce the overhead of managing multi-vendor storage environments by up to 80% and with this new release offers significant improvements in terms of automation, supported platforms and geo-scalability. We continue to respond to customer feedback which has resulted in the inclusion of support for the ECS Appliance, commodity platforms and state-of-the-art object capabilities.”

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