LAS VEGAS: The 2013 edition of EMC World brought the launch of one highly-anticipated release and the crystallisation of a vision for the IT industry that centres on big data and private cloud deployments.
EMC executives joined forces with the heads of their EMC, RSA and Pivotal subsidiaries to pitch a future in which firms operate mobile and cloud-based applications that rely on a series of highly virtualised systems powering big data platforms, both on-premise and in the cloud.
Headlining the event's releases was the ViPR platform. Described by EMC as a software-defined storage system, ViPR allows firms to combine multiple appliances and facilities – both those offered by EMC and those built by rival vendors – into a single platform that can then be provisioned as needed in the form of virtualised appliances.
The company believes that the platform will provide a central component in its vision for a fully software-defined data centre. EMC executives have hailed the ViPR platform as essential for helping service providers to offer cloud applications and services.
Though initially targeted for service providers, the company is eventually hoping to deploy ViPR in the larger enterprise space as well with the growing pack of private and hybrid clouds that EMC believes will power the next generation of data centres.
EMC is also looking to foster the growth of a central ecosystem around the ViPR platform. Speaking in an interview with V3, EMC's Amitabh Srivastava said that the company is going to offer outside developers a set of APIs to their products with ViPR. Additionally, the company hopes that the platform will inspire further innovation among the storage community and help to spark the emergence of new startups in the field.
Potential rivals, however, were quick to jump on ViPR and lob criticism at the platform for allegations of closing off the ecosystem. Cloud service storage architect SolidFire accused EMC of trying to undercut the OpenStack Cinder platform with ViPR.
SolidFire chief executive Dave Wright said: "It's disappointing that rather than contribute that functionality to the broader storage community, they are attempting to create a new layer of lock-in in the orchestration stack."
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