EMC “Redefines Possible” for Enterprise Clients

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.  July 9, 2014

EMC announced significant new product releases across its Flash, enterprise storage and scale-out NAS portfolios that the company said will help organizations to “Redefine Possible” and accelerate their journey to hybrid cloud computing.

According to the company, while the recipe for IT transformation – investing in new applications by reducing investment in the existing application estate – is conceptually simple, it is undermined by the realities of maintaining traditional IT assets. These include 29% annual data growth in existing application workloads, a continued 58% “drag” incurred by supporting infrastructure applications on business applications, and the ever escalating need for faster performance for specific workloads.

EMC believes organizations can successfully reduce the cost of supporting existing applications, then use those efficiencies to fund new mobile and big data solutions that can help redefine their business. However, they need a way to bridge the management of both new and existing application workloads without creating further infrastructure silos.

That’s where EMC’s new solutions come in. They include:

  • EMC XtremIO 3.0 offers more scale, more capabilities, and more support for consolidated, virtualized, and performance-hungry workloads for EMC’s all-flash arrays.
  • EMC’s VMAX Family transforms VMAX from enterprise storage solution to an enterprise data service platform by bringing new levels of cloud-like agility, efficiency and control within the data center. Using the VMAXFamily allows customers to control where best to run specific workloads, whether within private data centers or the public cloud.
  • Upgrades to EMC Isilon OneFS, include new platforms and solutions that reinforce what EMC calls the industry’s first enterprise-grade, scale-out Data Lake. New capabilities include ongoing support for HDFS, helping customers advance their ability to ingest, store, protect and manage massive amounts of unstructured data.
  • EMC ViPR 2.0 and EMC ViPR SRM 3.5 are designed to help customers build truly modern storage infrastructures on commodity platforms, while also making it easy to manage storage infrastructure of virtually any size.


The Pitch

EMC’s new XtremIO, VMAX and Isilon solutions redefine and refine customers’ journey to hybrid cloud computing.

Final Analysis

There has never been a shortage of utopian vision in the IT industry, but the processes required to adopt cloud computing espoused by some folks makes the journey to Shangri-La look like a walk in the park. Why is that the case? Because, like it or not, adopting next generation technologies cannot be achieved without continuing to support legacy applications and systems.

Though enterprises must necessarily continue to support legacy strategies and practices, EMC believes they can do so in a manner that will also prepare the way for a seamless transition to private, public and hybrid cloud.

EMC’s new and updated XtremIO, VMAX and Isilon systems (along with an overlay of the company’s ViPR management solutions) offer three approaches for achieving this end:

  1. Though XtremIO Flash-based arrays support the highest levels of application and data performance, EMC rightly points out that this must be considered in the larger context of providing consistent, predictable, superior support no matter what the workload. Every organization employs critical applications that demand top line performance, and the flexible new XtremIO features developed by EMC, including the Starter X-Brick entry level configuration, larger scale-out configurations and up to 4X better in-line compression, means that these solutions can be effectively adapted for and adopted by virtually any storage customer.
  2. Though EMC’s VMAX is well-established as the industry’s preeminent enterprise storage system, the company has made significant changes to what is now called the VMAX Family that allows it act as a data services platform that agilely and flexibly supports applications deployed internally or in public clouds, and helps determine where best to run specific workloads. Add to that improvements that lower TCO by 50% while boosting overall performance by up to 3X over previous generations and it becomes clear why EMC’s VMAX Family is a superb solution for both customers’ existing and future challenges.
  3. EMC’s Isilon has long been the solution of choice for businesses that require exceptionally robust scale-out commodity NAS to support vast quantities of unstructured data and applications, including those in media and entertainment, financial services and life sciences. These latest enhancements, including two new platforms that effectively double performance, SmartFlash flash cache capabilities for next gen protocols and (along with Pivotal) native integration of HDFS for big data analytics signal notable steps forward for both Isilon and scale-out NAS customers. We are also intrigued by the Isilon platform’s support for what EMC calls enterprise-grade ”Data Lake” repositories capable of storing and managing vast quantities and varieties of information, and supporting related applications.

What will these new EMC solutions look like in real world business scenarios? Actually, a cogent picture can be found in the new, related announcements by VCE. Leveraging new technology extensions for Isilon and XtremIO, VCE will offer Vblock Systems with Isilon for scale-out VDI and Hadoop analytics. The company will integrate and support these as options for both new and existing Vblock Systems, bringing the VCE Experience to customers deploying scale-out VDI and enterprise data lakes.


But while VCE certainly stands to profit from the improvements EMC has made to these platforms, XtremIO and Isilon customers will also gain considerably by having access to VCE’s converged infrastructure solutions. Vblocks aren’t simply amalgams of best of breed technologies from EMC, Cisco and VMware. Rather, they are deeply integrated, highly functional single products designed to support customers’ specific needs with automated, component level updates, lifecycle management services and end-to-end vendor accountability. Those characteristics have allowed VCE to establish firm leadership in terms of both market success and technical acumen.

Overall, these latest announcements find EMC operating at the top of its game. The company’s new and enhanced XtremIO, VMAX and Isilon solutions should deliver just the sort of benefits EMC envisions, allowing customers to seamlessly support existing legacy applications while preparing their way to a cloud-enabled future.

Just as importantly, though, is the effect these offerings are likely to have on EMC. The company has come a long way since its salad days as a leading enterprise storage systems specialist. By dint of hard work, critical development investments and imaginative acquisitions, EMC has retained its storage market leadership while evolving into an insightful vendor of innovative, next generation cloud services and solutions. These new offerings prove that the company’s journey has not only succeeded but continues apace.

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