EMC 2011 May 09 World VPLEX, Isilon and other announcements

In Atmos, Dell EMC, Geo, Greenplum, HD Appliance, IQ108NL, Isilon, Metro, VPLEX by Administrator

EMC World VPLEX, Isilon and other announcements

At EMC World recently, EMC® announced new VPLEX™ Geo, Isilon™ Nearline system, Atmos™ capabilities, and GreenPlum-Hadoop distribution and appliance.


Last year EMC rolled out the first two products of their storage virtualization family called VPLEX Local and VPLEX Metro and discussed two other roadmap items at the time. This year EMC made good on the first of those extensions, the VPLEX Geo.

VPLEX Geo supports a federated data center across asynchronous distances and built on the same hardware platform as VPLEX Local and VPLEX Metro solutions.  Such a capability would allow the transfer of virtual machines from one data center to another located 1000s of Km away.  .  For example, EMC had two data centers federated with VPLEX Geo over 2650km apart on display at EMC World.

VPLEX Geo’s only real distance limitation currently is that IO latency must be under 50msec, round trip between the data centers which depends on the IO skew and intensity.

VPLEX Geo and VPLEX Metro services can be used for application and data mobility or Data-access-at-Distance (DaaD) as well as infrastructure availability scenarios.  This later capability provides disaster avoidance, i.e., in the face of an upcoming disaster one can move data and applications from one data center to another.

EMC also announced the VPLEX Witness virtual machine used to adjudicate splits of federated data centers. In these situations, VPLEX Witness would monitor the state of each VPLEX system to determine which is most current thereby, in the case of a failure, automating as much as possible the re-federation of the two data centers. Witness is intended to run at some neutral third location outside the fault domain of the data centers in a VPLEX federation.

Finally, EMC also introduced new VPLEX hardware. As you may recall, VPLEX shares its base technology with VMAX hardware but with today’s update now incorporates the latest Intel processors and other logic.

Isilon Nearline systems and software

In addition to VPLEX, EMC also rolled out their new Isilon nearline appliance, the Isilon IQ108NL.  The 108NL supports 3TB SATA disk drives and now can supply 15PB of data in a single file system spanning 144 Isilon nodes.  Architecturally, the system is capable of even more storage but a 144 node system has been physically validated and verified through internal testing.  In addition, EMC Isilon announced new software functionality called “SmartLock” which supplies file level protection, similar to software WORM at the directory or file level for tamper proof data.

Atmos 2.0 software

Atmos, EMC’s cloud storage offering for service providers has been enhanced to support:

  • 5X better performance – Atmos now ingests up to 500M obj/day (16-node system).
  • XAM and Centera support – Atmos now offers XAM interface and provides basic Centera capabilities (but does not include Centera’s advanced compliance support)
  • Amazon S3 interoperability – Atmos now supports interoperability for Amazon S3 applications, allowing these users easier migration to Atmos.
  • GeoProtect services – Atmos, in conjunction with GeoParity, now segments and disperses data across multiple data centers as well as within data center nodes and cabinets for better efficiency and more resiliency.
  • GeoDrive support – Atmos now supports a Windows drive letter that uses Atmos cloud storage for backend data storage.

Greenplum HD and Hadoop distribution

EMC’s Greenplum product line just took a step into supporting open source in enterprise products.  They now have both an appliance based Apache Hadoop system as well as an EMC supported Hadoop distribution.  Hadoop has become popular, because it is open source and offers distributed analysis for unstructured data.

With EMC’s latest offering, they now provide support and services surrounding an EMC branded distribution of Hadoop which means they will supply fixes and integration testing for the software. But in addition to the pure software distribution, they also have bundled their Greenplum hardware appliance with Hadoop software together in one appliance, offering scale-able data analysis for both structured and unstructured data.

Announcement significance

Welcome to the new world, EMC is an open source champion. Hadoop has become essential to distributed unstructured data analysis.  As a result, almost at the same time that EMC announced support, NetApp and a three other vendors announced other tie-ins with Hadoop software.

EMC continues to rollout VPLEX capabilities to address data center federation, now supporting asynchronous distances. The only thing missing from last years VPLEX architecture discussion is the Global offering which supports more than two data centers in a single federation.

Last month Isilon announced new performance and midrange hardware and this month it’s new nearline solution and is now the first system to support a 15PB file system.

Atmos continues to gain traction in the market.  However, as Amazon S3 has the market lead, most cloud offerings are starting to offer interoperability and Atmos now does as well. XAM is a nice addition and will help migrate some of Centera’s install base to Atmos service providers.

[This announcement summary dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in May of 2011.  If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) or subscribe by email and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports.]


Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community.