Storage Soup

May 10 2013   4:04PM GMT

EMC World wrap-up: Isilon, VNX, Syncplicity future directions

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

LAS VEGAS – EMC World was short on product upgrades this year with the exception of the new ViPR platform, but the vendor did enhance a few products while previewing features expected soon in others:


Isilon’s OneFS operating system added post-process block-level deduplication, native Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) 2.0 support, a REST Object Access to Namespace interface for data access and support for OpenStack Swift and Cinder integration. The dedupe will be included in the next version of  OneFS due later this year, and the other features are available now.

During a session on Isilon during the show, Isilon director of product management Nick Kirsch laid out strategic initiatives for the clustered NAS platform.

Isilon is working on using flash to increase performance in several ways, including putting file system metadata on flash and using flash as a read cache first and eventually as a write cache. Kirsch also said Isilon will add support for commodity consumer drives as a low-cost tier.

“If you’re going to deploy an exabyte of data, there has to be a step change in price,” he said.

Kirsch said Isilon is working on a software-only version of OneFS, and will support moving data to the cloud and using the cloud as a “peering mechanism” to connect to multiple clouds.

No timetable was given for availability of these future features.


Rich Napolitano, president of EMC’s unified storage division, previewed future features for VNX arrays. These included a flash-optimized controller, a VNX app store that would allow customers to run applications such as a virtual RecoverPoint appliance directly on a VNX array and a virtual VNX array that can run on commodity hardware or in the cloud.


A year after buying file sharing vendor Syncplicity, EMC added a policy-based hybrid cloud capability that lets customers use private and public clouds simultaneously.

Customers can set policies by folders or by users to determine where content will reside. For example, legal documents from users can stay on on-premise storage while less sensitive data can go out to a public cloud. Files that require heavy collaboration such as engineering documents can be spread across multiple sites and have geo-replication features so uses can always access them locally.

EMC also added Syncplicity support for its VNX unified storage arrays, following on the support it gave EMC’s Isilon and Atmos storage platforms in January. Syncplicity will also support EMC’s ViPR software-defined storage platform when that becomes available later this year.

“Our strategy is to provide ultimate choice for storage backends,” said Jeetu Patel, VP of the EMC Syncplicity business unit. “So you can expect to be able to run Syncplicity on non-EMC platforms over time.”

Data Protection Suite

EMC’s backup and recovery group launched the Data Protection Suite, which consists of no new products but is a new way to package products such as Data Domain, Avamar, NetWorker, Data Protection Advisor and SourceOne. Customers can purchase backup and archiving products together with licenses based on consumption and deployment models.

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