Feeds

VMAX is becoming an app engine

Hypervisored array controller running apps

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

EMC World VMAX could become a server resource with a set of X86 engines controlled by ESX and running EMC software assets inside virtual machine containers, connecting to direct-attached VMAX storage resources.

This is a logical speculation of El Reg's based on Pat Gelsinger's Monday keynote presentation in which he said apps could run on VMAX. This set our system architects – the guys who draw diagrams on the back of table napkins – to wondering. Here's what they came up with, tested out in a conversation with Barry Burke, EMC's chief strategy officer in the Enterprise Storage Division, the home of VMAX and VPLEX.

The VMAX can run apps, meaning that any app in EMC's software assets that runs on the X86 platform could run on the VMAX X86 engines. So that could be management software and storage array controller software, but not virtual software appliances (VSAs) because there is no virtualisation environment there. We concentrated on this aspect, ignoring other apps such as Greenplum and the Documentum apps.

Barry Burke said: "It's no accident all EMC storage assets run on x86."

In fact the VMAX is run by the Enginuity O/S and that cannot, as far as we know, run X86 applications. Therefore, logically, the engines running apps in the VMAX would need to be controlled by operating system software, such as Windows, Unix or Linux. But then these engines would have their app loaded and be relatively inflexible. Far better to have VMware's ESX control a set of VMAX engines and ship virtual machine (VM) containers in and out as required.

Burke did not say EMC was going to do this. He did point out this interesting fact: "In our demo labs most of our assets today are running as virtual appliances: VMXe, VPLEX, VNX, and Centera."

That means that storage controllers instantiated as virtual storage appliances could run on VMAX and the plot, the one we imagine we might be seeing, thickens. Burke said: "I can't confirm the leap you are making... [There's] no reason why any of our platforms couldn't host the EMC assets in that environment."

Imagine any and all EMC software assets running on VMAX, with it providing direct-attached storage, with compute close to storage. Looks like an integrated stack, doesn't it?

This is fascinating and, if it happens, other storage array vendors might feel they should follow the same direction. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO
If the web giants need it to work, hey, maybe it'll work
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
Storage array giants can use Azure to evacuate their back ends
Site Recovery can help to move snapshots around
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.