on Tuesday took the lid off its latest approach to high-end data
: A new architecture to support virtual data centers. The company also announced a storage system based on the new architecture that it said will serve as a cornerstone of virtual computing infrastructures.
Dubbed Virtual Matrix Architecture, the technology integrates industry-standard components with EMC Symmetrix capabilities to enable massive scale to the tune of hundreds of thousands of terabytes of storage to support hundreds of thousands of virtual machines. The Symmetrix V-Max system is the first storage system based on Virtual Matrix. It uses quad-core Xeon processors.
"The shift from physical to virtual computing is being driven by efficiency gains too compelling to ignore," said EMC Chairman, President and CEO Joe Tucci. "Virtualization's ability to maximize resources and automate complex and repetitive manual tasks is overtaking the server world and is now happening in the storage world."
The Missing Ingredient
EMC said its Virtual Matrix Architecture allows Symmetrix V-Max engines to interconnect and share resources. The Symmetrix V-Max system scales to 1,024GB of global memory, with twice as many front-end and back-end connections compared to EMC's Symmetrix DMX-4 systems. The ability to interconnect and share resources to linearly scale out is a key customer requirement as virtual machines and applications are dynamically added and shifted, EMC said.
The Symmetrix V-Max system provides more than three times the performance, twice the connectivity, and three times more usable capacity than Symmetrix DMX-4 systems and uses significantly less per terabyte.
"Server has caught fire, and there is no turning back. To realize the ultimate benefit, however, the whole stack has to be virtualized and integrated," said Steve Duplessie, a senior analyst for The Enterprise Strategy Group. "EMC's new Virtual Matrix Architecture provides all the missing ingredients required for the virtual data center at the high-end storage layer -- infinite effective scale in all dimensions, a single system image to manage and dynamic self-optimization."
The Third Evolution of Storage
According to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, EMC believes storage is entering its third evolutionary era. Following direct attached storage (DAS) and storage area networks (SAN), EMC believes the virtual storage era began in 2005 and will continue through roughly 2015 and will be defined by highly virtualized data centers with requirements that outstrip conventional
"Not only is virtual computing coming, it is already here. What the future is likely to bring is the continuing expansion of these infrastructures into environments whose sheer size will likely confound the capabilities of conventional storage systems, architectures and ," King said. "EMC has long recognized this challenge both
as it applies to managing information infrastructures and to developing innovative storage solutions attuned to the special requirements of virtualized computing."
Without such products, King said, enterprises will likely find it difficult to adequately manage, let alone gain the full benefits and advantage of, their business information investments. EMC has proven time and again that its signature Symmetrix systems provide the performance necessary for the most demanding traditional business applications, as well as the flexibility to support emerging processes and workloads, King said, and Virtual Matrix Architecture-based Symmetrix systems are no exception.