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Will EMC's new Clariion add "artificial intelligence"?

It’s pretty much an open secret by now that EMC is getting ready to refresh its Clariion midrange disk arrays this month. Among the details leaked so far about what the new product will contain is the suggestion it will support NFS and CIFS, signaling the beginning of a consolidation of Clariion and the Celerra NAS platforms.

But another detail offered by an industry source earlier this week caught my eye and rang a bell when it comes to this announcement —

Deeper integration with VMware — “integration not available elsewhere,” according to one source – is supposedly a big feature of the new Clariion. EMC will apparently play up storage virtualization as well, although it’s unclear yet what new virtualization features will be included.

That’s when I remembered something I came across at EMC World two years ago, in an exhibit on the show floor called the Innovation Showcase. Among the product sneak previews I noted at the time:

Senior consulting software engineer Sorin Faibish was showing off his own diagram of “Application-Aware Intelligent Storage.” This would combine artificial intelligence software capable of being “trained” with hardware-embedded VMware ESX servers to automatically spawn services like data migration, encryption and replication to data as it comes into the cache on a storage array. The embedded ESX host would run EMC’s RecoverPoint CDP inside, logging and catalogging I/O, indexing data for input into a modeling engine, which would then decide on the proper way to store and protect the data before flushing it to disk.

No time frame was given on any of the prototypes.

Just something to ponder while we’re all waiting for a press release.

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