Another key theme coming out of EMC World Day 1 was a focus on providing a performance boost to EMC’s core storage platforms, beyond just adding solid state disk. The EMC Symmetrix family, the EMC VMAX, and their scale out NAS offering, the EMC Isilon product family, received significant speed upgrades.
The new EMC VMAX 40K now has twice the performance and twice the capacity as before. In addition, EMC is introducing a 20K and 10K to move the VMAX family down market. Another major announcement is VMAX-SP, a version of VMAX designed for cloud compute environments. It is fully multi-tenant, restful API-driven and provides metering and billing capabilities. This allows a cloud service provider to deliver fully automated storage with the cloud services they are providing. We will provide more detail on the VMAX-SP in our next entry.
The Isilon product family also received a performance boost. The new version of their operating system, OneFS Mavericks, will improve throughput by as much a 25% and a better caching capability will reduce latency by as much as 50%. In addition, Isilon has improved its data protection capabilities with push-button failover and fail-back features. Snapshots have also been improved to provide near instant restoration of deleted files. OneFS Mavericks now supports improved security, including role based administration and isolated storage pools, allowing organizations to consolidate more storage than ever without compromising data safety. Finally, OneFS Mavericks supports regulatory enhancements including SEC17a-4 compliance.
Storage Swiss Take
While there will always be overlap in the extensive EMC storage product portfolio we’re starting to see a few clear lines emerge. VMAX is going to continue to be the platform of choice for high-end database environments and Isilon will be the choice for large file based data environments, which includes larger virtualization projects since virtual machines are essentially files. Isilon also seems to be the “go to” platform for Big Data Analytics thanks to Isilon’s native support of HDFS (the Hadoop file system).
Both product lines can make a case for solving a multitude of storage challenges and some data centers may successfully use a single platform for all their storage needs. We think that EMC has a solid strategy by differentiating Isilon and VMAX along the above lines. It allows the systems to solve the problems that they are best suited for without overextending the capabilities of these systems. This enables the customer to use the right tool to fix the right problem.
EMC is a client of Storage Switzerland