Video: EMC users discuss hybrid storage strategies for SSD, cloud

LAS VEGAS – While EMC executives touted their vision for a hybrid storage strategy for SSD and cloud storage this week at EMC World 2012, attendees said they are playing a bit of catch-up in those two technology arenas. Both are important to their long-term storage strategies, several agreed, but deployment plans are months or years away.

Larkin Johnson of HCA Healthcare said that while his company’s network of 19 hospitals does not have any solid-state devices installed, they are “looking at deploying them within the next six months and upgrading our current storage infrastructure to add solid-state devices in along with our other spinning disks.” Like many attendees, Johnson listened to EMC CEO Joe Tucci make a case for a hybrid storage strategy that involves SSD and hard drives in the same implementation.

EMC’s new VMAX 40K enterprise SAN array and SSDs were two topics highlighting EMC World 2012. Talking about SSDs, Mike Kresic of Progressive Insurance said, “We use them in our Tier 1 VMAX storage. We have tons of relational databases and data warehouses that get very large, and we find that lots of those databases have inactive data and very small parts of them need performance, and the way that the VMAX can move the data around within the tier and promote stuff to solid-state really comes in handy.”

David Hoffman of the Apollo Group said that his organization does not have any solid-state devices. “Cost is one of the big factors and it’s still a fairly new technology for enterprise,” he said, adding that reliability and trust remain obstacles to adoption.

For many attendees, the EMC conference was a glimpse into a roadmap they are just starting to examine. "This is kind of the wave of the future with storage. Listening to ‘Project Lightning’ last year was interesting and cache cards in the servers is something that could come into play. One of the things we’re most interested to hear at the show this year is what EMC is doing to further advance the technology," said Kresic.

Hybrid storage strategies topped the opening-day agenda after Tucci talked during his keynote about the need for multiple flash locations throughout the data center, along with the future of cloud storage relying on a private-public model.

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