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EMC extends Isilon NAS software to edge, cloud

EMC expanded its Isilon NAS portfolio with a scaled-down, software storage system for remote locations, a cloud migration application and high-availability upgrades for Isilon OneFS.

EMC today unveiled two new software products for its Isilon scale-out NAS platform, along with enhancements to the Isilon OneFS operating system.

The additions can help Isilon NAS customers manage data at the core, edge and in the cloud, and are part of the vendor's data lakes strategy for storing and managing unstructured data in large repositories.

IsilonSD Edge and CloudPools are the software additions, which will be available along with the new version of OneFS in 2016.

IsilonSD Edge is a virtual NAS product that runs on commodity hardware and scales up to six nodes to store 36 TB of data. It supports the VMware ESX hypervisor and can be integrated with VMware vCenter for management.

EMC is offering two license options for IsilonSD Edge: One for production environments and another for nonproduction to allow customers to test the software before using it in full production mode.

"We want evolve the industry view of the data lake," said Ed Beauvais, director of Isilon product marketing for EMC's Emerging Technology Division. "We need to operate with a new concept of edge to core and the cloud."

EMC CloudPools allows customers to migrate data from Isilon arrays to public and private clouds without using a gateway. CloudPools supports EMC Elastic Cloud Storage private clouds, as well as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Virtustream public clouds. CloudPools data is shared, compressed and encrypted.

"We are enabling seamless migration," Beauvais said. "There is no added software or gateway required. The administrator sets it up, and it's entirely transparent to users and applications. We treat it as an object store. We encrypt it, compress it and we create a new object store with the cloud provider.

The enhanced Isilon OneFS operating system now includes nondisruptive upgrade and rollback capabilities for high availability. Beauvais said the operating system supported nondisruptive upgrades for minor code changes, but now it allows major OS upgrades without causing application downtime.

"We want to avoid any downtime," Beauvais said. "We have some granular controls to validate the success of the upgrade. If there is an issue, we provide a seamless rollback."

Scott Sinclair, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., in Milford, Mass., said the Isilon NAS software is a significant development for the platform because it's leveraging x86 commodity architecture for data and capacity in remote or edge sites.

"This extends the data lake to the edge, outside of the data center," he said. "And I can leverage existing hardware components. I can take the technology and make it accessible to the edge, and it's available at a low capacity and at a low cost."

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