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We caught up with Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, to get his thoughts on the latest "software-defined" product roll out in the IT industry. He told us ViPR is essentially a storage virtualization technology -- and the term software-defined is overused today. Still, he said, there is a need for ViPR.
"When you think of the way customers historically deployed storage, they've had storage on individual arrays with varying degrees of utilization," Kerravala said. "When one array is full you can't pull storage from one system and move it to another. You've got to add more storage to it."
VIPR, he explained, allows a customer to create a virtual pool in which it has a single view for all of its storage. He compared the technology as a management overlay that offers a single view into the company's storage and called it an interesting idea.
"EMC's traditional storage business is being rapidly standardized so it's hard to create differentiation in just storage. The management tools have to be the place where EMC has to differentiate itself," Kerravala said.
"It's built on proprietary protocols and typically it's hard to get ecosystem support with proprietary standards, but EMC is a big enough player in the storage market that its share would almost force the ecosystem to comply with its standards," he said. "The 800-pound gorillas could make EMC's protocols their standard."
Posted: 2013-09-24 @ 8:12am PT
There's no doubt that data centers as they exist today are in the midst of a massive transformation, truly a virtual upheaval. The virtualization era completely uncouples all assets around the data center into fundamental resources or building blocks comprised of memory, processor and disk. This shift paves the way for smart software to govern those assets in the best possible way for application performance, data protection and high availability. The prospect also exists for up-and-coming companies to seize this opportunity.