EMC launches arsenal of virtualisation and storage weapons into the cloud

If you checked out yesterday's preview piece, you'll know that ITProPortal is in Italy at the moment, attending EMC's Speed2Lead multiple product launch.

The main event kicked off today, and there was by no means any shortage of news. On the jam-packed menu was a series of fresh announcements and product releases that were sure to put even the most composed of technology enthusiasts into a bit of a spin. All located within the dramatic surroundings of Milan's East End Studios, anticipation was high.

Big names on the list included EMC's ViPR software-defined storage platform, VSPEX and Project Nile, however, the company's new VNS series of unified storage systems was the first product under the spotlight.

This mid-range line-up (VNX5200, VNX5400, VNX5600, VNX5800, VNX7600, VNX8000 and VNX-F), according to EMC, has been built in order to try and squeeze as much goodness out of Intel's Sandy Bridge technologies as possible, and designed to address the need for high performance and low latency.

The new series features flash-optimised MCx (multi-core optimised) software, which aims to improve the performance and speed of virtualised applications. In fact, EMC claims that the new system delivers "the performance of the previous generation at only one-third the price."

"Customers are demanding more performance and efficiency from their current datacentre infrastructure while, at the same time, exploring new architectures for their next generation mobile and web applications," said EMC's president and COO, David Goulden.

"By fully embracing and exploiting disruptive technologies such as Intel MultiCore, virtualisation and flash, EMC is providing customers with the products and solutions they need to help transform their IT department."

Next to land in the hotseat was reference architecture system VSPEX, which has just been upgraded to support twice the number of virtual machines (VMs) than its predecessor, but at the same price. The enhanced service, which includes a wider range of workload configurations than before, is now capable of catering to an impressive 1,000 VMs.

"The solutions announced today help ensure that our customers can continue to easily and quickly deploy the latest best-of-breed cloud technology to accelerate their journey to the cloud," said Jeremy Burton, executive vice president of product operations and marketing at EMC.

EMC then delivered a somewhat unexpected announcement. The company's ViPR software-defined storage platform, which had been expected to launch in several months' time, will instead become generally available during September.

This tool will allow users to simultaneously control storage infrastructure and its data content from the same place, through ViPR Controller and ViPR Data Services, respectively. The ViPR platform will support a number of different storage options, including EMC's VNX, VPLEX, VMAX and Isilon, as well as some of NetApp's offerings.

"By delivering ViPR ahead of industry expectations, we will provide our customers with a lightweight, software-only approach to storage management that not only solves the problems they face today, but provides a path to the future," said Amitabh Srivastava, president of EMC's advance software division.

Next up, EMC lifted the lid off Project Nile, an upcoming flexible cloud storage system that aims to increase the attractiveness of the private cloud. According to EMC, the public cloud is currently seen as larger, cheaper and easier to use than its opposite, which the firm now wants to change.

Last but by no means least, EMC flaunted the VNX5400 Lotus Team F1 limited edition arrays, created as a celebration of the company's partnership with the Lotus F1 team. This certainly explained the choice of décor and theme of the event – the whole placed was clad from head to toe with Formula 1 cars and giant rubber tyres.