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EMC to ramp up flash storage integration

05 Dec 2012
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Storage heavyweight EMC is to ramp up the integration of solid-state flash storage devices into its enterprise lines.

The company said that its server-based SSD lines would be teamed up with flash-based appliances from recently-acquired XtremIO to create a flash storage line up which covers both the on-board and SAN storage sectors.

Zahid Hussain, senior vice president for EMC's flash products division, told reporters that the company sees firms adopting a number of flash technologies at multiple points on the network.

Rather than focus on one specific point, the company is planning a multi-tier approach which relies on a common set of management tools.

"There is an emerging server tier of flash storage," he said. "But what is interesting is: how does that start to build out a new set of data services?"

EMC executives laid out a vision in which certain devices, such as PCIe cards, could be used to leverage flash storage into existing servers, while new designs, such as its "Project X" appliance could be built from the ground up to deliver the best performance on network security.

Eventually, the company hopes to have a platform which can be used to perform traditional high-performance server tasks while also providing a platform for emerging markets such as big data analysis and in-memory databases.

"We are going to set the pace where the industry is going in the coming years," said EMC flash products chief technology officer Dan Cobb.

"Nobody is offering the breadth of capabilities that go from the server tier to the array tier."

The company hopes that the products will bring about a new era for flash storage in which maturing technologies and improved designs will allow flash storage to not only integrate with the enterprise IT environment, but also help to shape new performance models and usage cases.

"You should expect that applications themselves will change," said Hussain.

"As [developers] expect different performance characteristics they will be designed and written using these performance characteristics."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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