Storage

High-End Disk Storage:

Engineered to support applications requiring the most demanding levels of resiliency, EMC’s flagship VMAX 10K, VMAX 20K and VMAX 40K family is the most broadly deployed enterprise storage platform in the high-end disk storage market. The release of the VMAX 10K brings the high-availability characteristics of the VMAX to lower price ranges, while the VMAX Cloud Edition expands support for IT and service providers building private, hybrid or public cloud. Featuring the latest enabling hardware technologies, enhancements to Enginuity, Unisphere and Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) to improve performance, usability and data protection, and a broad ecosystem, the VMAX exceeds its closest rival by over two times in high-end disk storage market share.

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Midrange Disk Storage:

To retain its leading position in this segment, EMC did a major refresh of the VNX product line, dubbed VNX2, to take advantage of multicore processors and flash to deliver higher performance for a marginal price difference compared with the earlier versions. Among the key changes are active/active storage processors, updated caching algorithm to better utilize the flash tier and more granular auto-tiering software. The new product enables EMC to compete more aggressively on price/performance in the midrange segment against its competitors, including hybrid startups. However, VNX to VNX2 is a forklift upgrade.

Scale-Out Network-Attached Storage (NAS):

Isilon Systems is a successful acquisition for EMC. Revenue more than quadrupled to $1 billion in 2013, since the acquisition in 2010. Isilon has continued to accelerate its growth in verticals such as media/entertainment, healthcare/life sciences, oil and gas, and financial services, which demand massive scalability in capacity and performance (sequential throughput) with ease of management. Recent added features, such as block-level deduplication and integration with Syncplicity, are extending the use cases beyond high-performance computing (HPC), home directories and active archiving to file sync and share.

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Flash Storage:

MC has aggressively incorporated flash technology into its storage portfolio, first as a tier of storage that was later augmented with automated data-tiering software, and then followed by Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) server flash cards with associated server caching software and a scale-out all-flash array, all sold under the Xtrem logo. EMC has shipped more than 145PB of flash technology; however, its server-based XtremSF PCIe flash cards have thus far failed to gain notable market traction.

Storage Virtualization:

VPLEX is a virtualization platform that provides active-active, high-availability support beyond the storage infrastructure and the data center. Supporting EMC and selected non-EMC storage arrays, VPLEX enables data volumes to be configured for simultaneous access by applications in two locations. VPLEX can protect against disk array failures, enable the movement of workloads between data centers and guard against site outages. Approximately 50% of the estimated 3,000 VPLEX cluster shipments are deployed with EMC midrange VNX storage arrays, which provide a cost-effective high-availability infrastructure. VPLEX does not virtualize a collection of storage arrays into pools with common data services features. However, the EMC Symmetrix Federated Tiered Storage (FTS) product supports this use case.

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Storage Management Software:

EMC is evolving its storage management portfolio to address expanding storage topologies as customers struggle to deal with relentless data demands. The Storage Resource Management (SRM) 3.0 release is an attempt to get it right for SRM by refreshing the UI to better match a use-case paradigm and support a larger ecosystem that includes competitors’ storage products. This release builds on customer feedback to ControlCenter and ProSphere. In conjunction with SRM 3.0, ViPR continues to evolve as EMC’s software-defined storage solution. Although new and unproven economically, ViPR offers a view into EMC’s intention to win or maintain ownership of large storage environments, regardless of the underlying hardware. Since ViPR is in an early stage of maturity, customers must be prepared to ride the road map as the product evolves. Patience and trust are necessary as customers wait for a comprehensive software-defined storage solution capable of tying together disjointed storage services, potentially from other vendors and/or in public cloud spaces.