So we have VPLEX and despite some scratching of heads as to what it is; it is really quite simple,

‘storage access is further decoupled from storage physicality’

And this really is nothing especially new; decoupling the storage access from storage physicality has been going on for some time. Servers are getting further and further away from their physical disk. We have been adding abstraction layers to storage access for some time, the big question is whether we need another abstraction layer?

Actually I think that the additional layer is useful; the ability to present ‘real LUNS’ from ‘storage arrays’ as a single ‘plexed LUN’ and keeping these LUNs in-sync might actually be useful in a number of use-cases. I can see it simplifying and transforming DR for example; I can see it making migration a lot easier and I can see EMC heavily leveraging their VMWare investments. ¬†I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; ever since EMC spun VMWare off, they have acted more in concert than when VMWare were wholly owned.

Is it useful enough to warrant EMC’s claim to have invented a new class of storage device?

I think I’ll let the vendor bloggers rip themselves to shreds over that.

I also think it is interesting that they have at long last decided to pretty whole-heartedly support third party arrays; if anything, this makes it an interesting announcement for EMC. Will they sell any? Well, it’s going to be an uncomfortable experience for your run-of-the-mill account manager when faced with a Storage Manager who says ‘Well you’ve just re-invented SVC/USP-V etc…you told me that they were rubbish, so why is yours any good?’

I think the heavy-hitters in EMC are going to be very busy supporting their account-teams.

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Martin Glassborow

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