Yesterday, we GA’d the ViPR controller 2.1 which now add support for EMC XtremIO, this is great because if you are an existing ViPR customer (you can download the appliance for a free trial), you can now manage EMC and 3rd party arrays from the same console..let’s take a step back into what ViPR is..
EMC ViPR Software Defined Storage helps customers protect & optimize traditional workloads, helps reclaim public cloud workloads and accelerates Big Data initiatives. ViPR is an EMC-developed software solution that has two components:
the first component of ViPR is the ViPR Controller, which abstracts and pools multi-vendor storage arrays into a single virtual storage pool that can then be managed by policy. ViPR Controller automates repetitive storage provisioning tasks and provides self-service access to storage. ViPR makes it as easy to consume enterprise storage as it is to consume a public cloud storage service. ViPR Controller also provides a simple way to manage storage resources, performance, and utilization. For deeper insight and visualization across multi-vendor, traditional and Software-Defined Storage environments including chargeback,
ViPR integrates with ViPR SRM and Storage Service Assurance Suite (SA).
The second component, is ViPR Services. ViPR Services can be thought of as a storage engine – entirely in software – that support multiple access methods – Object, HDFS, Block, and in the future File. ViPR services run on both commodity hardware and on traditional arrays. This allows customers to reuse existing storage assets, and mix and match them with commodity hardware.
Customers have three ways to procure ViPR Controller:
1) As a software product that can be installed and run on customer provided, traditional EMC or 3rd Party arrays, such as VMAX, VNX, iSilon and now XtremIO
2) As a software product that can be installed on customer provided OS and commodity storage
3) As a complete storage appliance which includes ViPR Controller, ViPR Services and bundled commodity hardware, which is the ECS appliance.
So how does ViPR help our customers. Our customers have told us, ViPR needs to address three main issues:
First, help me reduce my costs – help me be more efficient and avoid unnecessary purchases. Data growth is unsustainable, we need better utilization and simpler management. The era of data silos has to end. Similar to how VMware helps customers reduce the costs associated with server proliferation, ViPR helps customer reduce costs by abstracting & automating multi-vendor storage, which allows customers to avoid unnecessary expenditures by increasing utilization and efficiency. In fact, independent lab testing that was completed by Principled Technologies in April, 2014 shows that ViPR can reduce time to provision storage by up to 85%.
Second, customers want the freedom to choose the hardware, software (the storage and data services) and management independently. ViPR provides this freedom to customers. Because ViPR manages EMC, 3rd party and commodity storage, customers can mix and match storage giving them the freedom to choose what is right for their business.
Finally, customers want the ability to deliver storage-as-a-service to their end user including multi-tenancy, elasticity, self-service access, metering and chargeback. ViPR Controller provides all this. ViPR delivers policy-based, on-demand, self service access to storage resources, allowing for multi-tenancy, metering and chargeback in conjunction with ViPR SRM. In addition, ViPR delivers the scalable economics and simplicity of public cloud services, with the reliability and control of private cloud infrastructure.
Now lets talk about the ViPR use cases: Storage Automation and Storage-as-a-Service
The primary use case for ViPR Controller is storage automation which provides centralized management & provisioning across multi-vendor environments.
There are several challenges that customers are facing with regards to storage automation, including:
- Storage management lifecycle takes too long and is manual/complex
- Administration & repetitive manual processes consume storage administrator cycles
- Multi-Vendor enterprise storage platforms are managed as silos
- Human errors causing downtime and/or reliability issues
- Explosive data growth is making the situation worse
The ViPR Controller solves for these challenges by:
Reducing storage administration costs and downtime through policy-based automation, which improve efficiency and minimize human errors
- Transforming Multi-Vendor storage platforms into ONE software storage platform from which underlying storage capabilities can be advertised as services via a self-service catalog
Easily implementing a ViPR Controller solution without changing any storage processes
Our next use case for storage as a service focuses on delivering a policy-driven ,on-demand self-service catalog. Normally, the IT Administrators, who will typically want to this model in place, so that they no longer have to act as the interface between the consumers and storage systems, and in order to regain control from public cloud storage offerings. Additionally, this is a conversation for the Lines of Business, who can’t wait for IT to provision storage, which often slows down application development; this in particular is where we see the emergence of ‘shadow IT’.
The primary challenge associated with regards to storage-as-a-service is the need for strong, policy-based automation and orchestration across complex storage environments. In fact, often times we see a certain amount of fragmented, home-grown automation implemented inside customer’s environments.
The EMC ViPR Controller in conjunction with the customers choice of orchestrator e.g. VMWare VCO/vCAC, ServiceMesh, ServiceNow etc. helps solve for these challenges by:
- Transforming complex multi-vendor storage environments into ONE software storage platform from which underlying storage capabilities can be advertised as services via a self-service catalog.
- Reducing time to service completion through policy-based automation
- Easily implementing a ViPR Controller solution without changing any storage processes