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Gelsinger stuns analysts and colleagues with storage pool plan

EMC will sync all your data, worldwide

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Turning white

Apparently when Pat Gelsinger, EMC's cloud gunslinger, sprang this on the analysts other EMC people were dumbstruck. The prepared slides didn't directly mention YottaYotta technology at all. One EMC insider said: "He covered all the YottaYotta stuff as a drop-in; Pat exercising his exec' power. Product management turned white."

At the same time EMCers are in awe of Gelsinger. He "isn't the typical keep it close to the vest EMC exec." In May EMC is holding a big EMC World event in Boston, and "Gelsinger is probably going to tell everyone everything at EMC World. Be an interesting keynote."

Apparently he's had a big impact in the last six months, restructuring Engineering, increasing the research and development spending by 20 per cent and causing the hiring of hundreds of engineers.

What EMC is doing is building out a product set for a global-scale public and private cloud infrastructure for block-mode storage access, calling that part of it virtual storage, and basing it on the federation globally of local (federated locally) storage and server resources. Atmos is for file and object-mode access.

Hollis writes about the "Atmos storage platform, which uses an object and metadata model to implement geographically aware policies. But the use cases are somewhat constrained to data with low-to-moderate change rate -not to mention requiring applications that can bridge to object models."

EMC's DaaD scheme is "a more generic block-level abstraction that can handle high I/O rates and not limit the choice of apps".

Hollis defines virtual storage as "the complete separation of information from both physical media and location - while under the control of IT". He says "You'd be able to seriously consider moving thousands of VMs over thousands of miles".

Insanely great or insane?

EMC really thinks it can do this. Hollis writes: "Create a consistent global view of storage and cache state, and all of the sudden we can consider multiple writers to the same information at serious performance levels. Do this at a low enough level of abstraction (e.g. block devices), and it becomes generically applicable to just about any enterprise use case you'd care to consider."

This is simply the biggest vision of server and storage virtualisation around - federate data centres around the globe into a single virtualised resource, with EMC and VMware defining, controlling and operating the strings that they claim can overcome the latency, bandwidth and cache coherency problems that render this kind of thing impossible.

Hollis writes: "Yes, it's rocket science." What we're seeing here is EMC moving to dominate the cloud, server and storage virtualisation areas in a way no one has ever tried to do before. It's either got an insanely great set of technologies under its belt or it's insane to even try, and it's far too early to take a position on which alternative is right. ®

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