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EMC uncages ViPR, jumps into the Nile for private clouds

While EMC’s belated VNX2 launch was no surprise today, the storage vendor did throw in a few unexpected twists. First, it revealed the first version of its ViPR software-defined storage platform would be generally available later this month. And the biggest surprise was it took the wraps off something called Project Nile, which the vendor has not discussed before.

EMC didn’t go that deep into Project Nile, which it described as an elastic private cloud storage platform.

In his EMC Pulse blog today, here is how EMC advanced software division preisdent Amitabh Srivastava described the key elements of Project Nile:


  • Project Nile will be designed to deliver a streamlined and highly automated user experience from purchase thorough deployment and consumption.
  • Project Nile will be engineered to enable “Click and Go” access to block, file and object storage depending on a customer’s workload needs. AND it possesses all the benefits of the Public Cloud by being designed for massive scale, geo-distribution, and elasticity.
  • Project Nile is intended to support multiple standard APIs including Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), OpenStack Swift, HDFS and EMC Atmos. This means that it will help developers more easily move applications between on-premise and Public Cloud environments without the need for costly and time-consuming application rewrites.
  • Finally, Project Nile will be offered at a very aggressive price point, redefining the economics of on-premise Web-scale storage deployments.

Parts of this sound similar to what Srivastava laid out in a ViPR demo he gave at VMworld last week, particularly the click and go access to block, file and object storage.

In a video inserted into his blog, Srivastava  also described Nile as “simplified on-premises Web storage without the constraints of public cloud storage.” So is Nile a version of ViPR designed for private clouds? It’s too early to tell, given what little detail we have on Nile. According to EMC, Nile won’t be generally available until 2014.

ViPR will be available this month. EMC says that is ahead of industry expectations, although those expectations were based on EMC’s public statements. Out of the gate, ViPR will support EMC VNX, VMAX, Isilon Vplex and RecoverPoint, and NetApp arrays.

ViPR breaks management into the control plane (infrastructure) through the ViPR Controller and the data plane through ViPR Data Services. Object storage services will be in the first release, with support for APIs from Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift and EMC Atmos.

“We’re separating the application from physical storage,” is how Srivastava described ViPR at VMworld. “The job of ViPR Controller is to automate, automate, automate. We’re giving customers the choice of what array to use.”

EMC said ViPR will cost around 2 cents per GB per month for customers with the Control Plane and Data Plane.

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