Posted by: Dave Raffo
LAS VEGAS — Hitachi Data Systems and NetApp wasted little time sending reviews of EMC’s new ViPR software. Both sent e-mails panning EMC’s attempt at software-defined storage.
You obviously woudn’t expect EMC’s competitors to have good things to say about ViPR, especially competitors who also offer storage virtualization. But after hearing EMC bang the drums about it this week at EMC World, let’s listen to other opinions:
“ViPR is essentially a YASRM — Yet Another Storage Resource Manager,” wrote Sean Moser, HDS VP of software platforms product management. “Another bite at the apple for EMC after the failure of Invista and its ancestors. In ViPR terms they call this function a control plane – an attempt to provide a single management framework across all EMC storage platforms, and eventually across third party storage as well.”
He called the attempt to provide a management platform across third-party storage “a pipe dream as there’s no motivation for third-parties to write to your SRM API to allow their products to be nicely managed by a tool not of their own making. So part one of ViPR is to create an SRM tool that allows clients to use enterprise storage much as they would Amazon — a set of software APIs that abstract the detail of the underlying storage, presenting Storage as a Service. While conceptually a good idea, it will be impossible to really do outside of EMC storage.
“The other key function with ViPR is storage virtualization; the long sought storage hypervisor. However, even for EMC’s own storage platforms (at least in version 1.0), ViPR only allows control plane (i.e. management functions) for file and block. The only data plane support is for object-based storage. So for now, it’s just a new Atmos front-end that adds an SRM management layer for block and file.”
Moster maintains that the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) had the support for file, block and object that EMC claims ViPR will have. “Further, there’s no gymnastics required to make this happen – you get it straight out of the box,” he added.
Brendon Howe, NetApp vice president of product and solutions marketing, wrote that the software-defined storage concept is a good one. But, he added, NetApp does it better in its Clustered Data OnTap operating system.
“NetApp provides this capability with our with open and flexible Storage Virtual Machine (SVM) technology in Clustered Data OnTap,” Howe wrote. “[NetApp provides] hardware independence spanning NetApp optimized to commodity hardware to the cloud with Amazon Web Services. Combining the best set of software-enabled data services with programmable APIs and the broadest set of integrations is precisely how Data ONTAP became the most deployed storage operating system.”
Well, you didn’t expect EMC’s claim of being the first to provide software-defined storage to go unchallenged, did you?