After much anticipation, EMC rolled out its next generation VNX (together with a bevy of other announcements) in a splashy live, and live-streamed, event this week. Surrounded by F1 cars, noise, and paraphernalia (not to mention a ‘special edition’ Lotus version of the product!?) in a film studio in Milan, the link to the event theme of “Speed To Lead” was pretty hard to miss. Of course it’s fun to look for the amusing (when audience members started drifting to get lunch I felt a rename to “Speed To Feed” was in order!), but there was plenty of hardcore and important news in all the glitz.
So, first off let’s hit the basics of the new ‘midrange’ VNX – to use an old adage it’s pretty simple: it does more for less. In fact rather a staggering lot more – it can exceed 1M IOPS, and reach 30GB/sec throughput, and scale to 6PB. While of course mileages may vary, EMC’s summary is to talk about it being 70% faster while doing 4X the workload of the prior model….and generally you don’t have to spend more than before to get that. The ‘oomph’ comes from a new ‘flash optimized’ architecture that benefits from 43 filed/granted patents, and includes such things as MCx (multicore optimization), both SLC (cache) and MLC (tier) flash, a Virtual Data Mover migration tool, and (on the block side) dedupe and active/active system protection.
And “in other news” as they say, EMC brought ViPR to GA (ahead of expectations), promoted VNX-integrated VSPEX news, made it clear that Vblock would have a VNX2 version imminently, and ‘unveiled’ Project Nile (it was described as ‘elastic cloud storage’ to compete with the public cloud in terms of on-demand capacity…but – wait for it – the ‘source’ of this particular Nile was not really discussed).
But VNX2 was the main event; my favorite quote of the day came from Rich Napolitano as he enthusiastically made the official announcement: Just in case anyone wasn’t clear on the flash-optimized message he reassured the audience that: “We continue to support hard drives”!
To get an idea of the day, see my interviews with EMC product marketing executives, and to listen to my succinct take on things you can view my video-blog below.
There’s more ESG coverage and analysis of the new VNX - and its place in both EMC’s product portfolio and the storage market more generally – coming soon. I’ll publish an ESG Brief next week that goes into a lot more detail on the use and integrated value of VNX as well as my analysis of why EMC made the effort to go quite as far as it has with this new platform (it could have “got by” more than adequately, with much less…) and then there’s also an ESG Lab that will follow in a few weeks from now. The latter will focus on using the new VNX as NAS for transaction workloads in virtualized and database environments. Meantime, suffice to say that right now the new VNX and everything else from this week’s ‘megalaunch’ is product news for sure, but I see it as representing something far more fundamental in terms of the way that the overall “big EMC” corporation is going to address, and compete in, the broader IT market for the next few years. More on that in the ESG Brief next week.