Virtually Pragmatic?

Martin “Storagebod” Glassborow suggests two reasons EMC reversed course on virtualizing behind the VMAX: Maintaining margin on controllers and adapting to a flash-filled world. Both are reasonable ideas…

The speed of change in the spinning rust market appears to be slowing, certainly the incessant increase in the size of hard disks is slowing and there means that there might be less pressure to technically refresh the spindles and a decoupling of the disk from the controller makes sense. EMC can protect their regular upgrade revenues at the controller level and forgo some of the spinning rust revenues. They can more than make up for this out of maintenance revenues on the software.

But I wonder if there is a more pressing technological reason and trend that means that it is a good time to do this; that is the rapid progress of flash into the data-centre and how EMC can work to increase the acceleration of adoption. It is conceivable that EMC could be looking shipping all-flash arrays which allow a customer to continue to enjoy their existing array infrastructure and realise the investment that they have made. It is also conceivable that EMC could use a VMAX like appliance to integrate their flash-in-server more simply with a third party infrastructure.

About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at,, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

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