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EMC gives ViPR flash-related upgrade

EMC last week quietly upgraded its ViPR software-defined storage and ScaleIO hyper-convergence software, broadening support for platforms and emerging technologies.

One of the selling points of ViPR that EMC has pushed since launch was that it would work with third-party and commodity hardware. But ViPR still does a lot more with EMC storage than any other platforms. The biggest upgrades to ViPR Controller 2.2 are flash support for EMC’s XtremIO, and VMAX and data protection-as-as-service support for EMC’s Data Domain and Vplex MetroPoint products.

The ViPR upgrades allow customers to automate storage provisioning in the supported flash arrays and backup products, plus adds flash monitoring and alerting capabilities.

EMC also upgraded ViPR SRM (storage resource management). Version 3.6 includes better integration with EMC Data Protection Advisor to automate SLA reporting of compliance with backup policies for EMC Avamar and Symantec backup apps.

“You can focus on the apps instead of the ops,” said Kate Canestrari, senior directory of product marketing in the EMC’s Emerging Technologies Division. “We reduce time admins are spending within provisioning and managing their environment, whether its EMC arrays, third-party arrays or commodity hardware.”

While ViPR has some level of support for NetApp, Hitachi Data System and IBM XIV arrays, it remains slanted far towards EMC platforms. Of course, that is no surprise. EMC didn’t develop ViPR to move customers to other vendors’ arrays.

EMC’s ScaleIO 1.31 now allows administrators to deploy software with the ScaleIO Data Client (SDC) as part of VMware’s ESX 5.5 hypervisor. The new version also supports Microsoft Hyper-V, KVN, and Xen hypervisors, but the integration is not yet as great as with VMware.

“Today we’re changing the game for VMware deployments with kernel integration,” Sam Grocott, SVP of EMC’s Emerging Technologies Division, wrote in a blog explaining the upgrades.

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