There’s been practically a firestorm when EMC announced ViPR, its own version of “software-defined storage” at EMC World last week. Whether you want to call it Virtualization Platform Re-defined or Re-imagined, competitors such as NetApp, HDS, Nexenta have taken pot-shots at EMC, and touting their own version of software-defined storage.
In the release announcement, EMC claimed the following (a cut-&-paste from the announcement):
- The EMC ViPR Software-Defined Storage Platform uniquely provides the ability to both manage storage infrastructure (Control Plane) and the data residing within that infrastructure (Data Plane).
- The EMC ViPR Controller leverages existing storage infrastructures for traditional workloads, but provisions new ViPR Object Data Services (with access via Amazon S3 or HDFS APIs) for next-generation workloads. ViPR Object Data Services integrate with OpenStack via Swift and can be run against enterprise or commodity storage.
- EMC ViPR integrates tightly with VMware’s Software Defined Data Center through industry standard APIs and interoperates with Microsoft and OpenStack.
The separation of the Control Plane and the Data Plane of the ViPR allows the abstraction of 2 main layers.
Layer 1 is the abstraction of the underlying storage hardware infrastructure. Although I don’t have the full details (EMC guys please enlighten me, please!), I believe storage administrator no longer need to carve out LUNs from RAID groups or Storage Pools, striped and sliced them and further provision them into meta file systems before they are exported or shared through NAS protocols. I am , of course, quoting the underlying provisioning architecture of Celerra, which can be quite complex. Anyone who has done manual provisioning with Celerra Manager should know what I mean.
Here’s the provisioning architecture of Celerra: