EMC Announces EMC Invista Network Storage Virtualization Platform
Enterprise-class Virtualization Solution Delivers Highest Levels of Performance, Scalability, Openness
EMC Corporation, the world leader in information storage and management, today introduced EMC Invista™, the company's new network storage virtualization solution. Invista is based on innovative new technologies to help customers achieve non-disruptive enterprise operations, eliminate planned downtime and centralize and streamline storage management. The integrated hardware and software solution delivers these benefits through the simple and non-disruptive movement, copying and migration of data across multiple tiers of heterogeneous storage arrays. Invista is a key component of EMC's wide range of offerings to help customers implement their information lifecycle management (ILM) strategies, lower total cost of ownership and drive additional levels of business value from their IT operations.
Network storage virtualization provides for the creation of "virtual volumes" within the storage network, forming a dynamic environment in which physical storage resources can be moved and changed rapidly and non-disruptively. Invista groups distributed physical storage devices into a common logical pool. From that pool, customers can easily provision and manage their disparate information resources.
Built with a highly scalable "out-of-band" architecture, Invista delivers the full value of network storage virtualization with the levels of performance, reliability and integrity required for deployment in enterprise data centers. Invista provides the foundation for customers to take advantage of network storage virtualization today, while serving as a platform to deploy new network storage virtualization capabilities easily and cost effectively.
EMC is the only major vendor to develop a network storage virtualization solution designed to run on intelligent storage area network (SAN) switch platforms from the top three switch vendors. Invista takes advantage of specialized processing power resident in intelligent switches to perform core storage virtualization operations.
Invista enables enterprise customers to preserve all of the native performance and software functionality of the physical storage devices being virtualized. Businesses can opt to virtualize their heterogeneous storage environment while continuing to use array-based replication or other storage software functionality currently running on their storage systems.
Mark Lewis, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, EMC Corporation, said, "The beauty of EMC Invista is that it gives customers the flexibility to implement storage virtualization as a transparent process that's additive and complementary to their existing infrastructures, while addressing very specific business needs like non-disruptive operation. Customers will be able to deploy Invista in an EMC, IBM, Hitachi or any other qualified environment, while also taking advantage of valuable software they've already purchased for those storage platforms.
"EMC views network storage virtualization as a key enabling technology to address customer challenges such as the inability to schedule planned downtime, the constraints of inflexible storage infrastructures and the need to simplify management of complex storage environments," Lewis added. "EMC took the necessary time to develop an architecture that's completely open and stateless. For this reason, EMC Invista eliminates the performance limitations and data integrity issues associated with other storage virtualization methods, and is architected to scale to the most complex and demanding enterprise environments."
Michael Goode, Director of Storage Services at Nielsen Media Research said, "EMC Invista has the potential to offer an innovative approach to storage virtualization. By connecting to the existing Fibre Channel SAN fabric, Invista will seamlessly utilize storage from a variety of devices without directly connecting devices to it. This will maximize the environment to eliminate storage islands and transparently utilize leftover storage, while being flexible enough to scale with future business needs. One of the main reasons for looking at Invista is the ability to move data and change the infrastructure transparently to applications and the rest of the IT operation."
Arun Taneja, Founder and Consulting Analyst, Taneja Group, said, "We believe that the initial delivery of EMC Invista to the marketplace represents a seminal event for storage virtualization and the future of the storage industry. This validates network based virtualization as a technology and should galvanize industry and market momentum around the product category. In our view, EMC has approached storage virtualization in the type of highly operational manner that should resonate with end-users. Invista will help companies minimize planned downtime for heterogeneous storage infrastructure changes and simplify laborious tasks like capacity allocations without forcing radical changes to existing SAN configurations."
Provides Non-disruptive Migrations, Eliminates Repetitive Volume-Management Tasks
Storage administrators today can spend 20-30% of their time on volume- management tasks. By presenting a virtualized volume view across multiple heterogeneous storage devices, Invista enables IT organizations to significantly reduce the amount of time spent on these manual tasks. With centralized network-based volume management in place, Invista customers can reduce the repetitive volume management activities that must occur in the server environment today.
Invista's dynamic volume mobility enables storage administrators to move storage volumes from one location to another -- without application disruption -- for normally disruptive processes such as lease rollovers, technology refreshes, data movement across multi-tiered heterogeneous environments or to respond to rapidly changing performance needs.
Invista's network-based local replication provides additional flexibility and choice. For example, businesses can create additional data copies non-disruptively for backup, data warehousing or other secondary uses. Because the data is replicated via the storage network, it can be copied to and from heterogeneous and tiered storage arrays.
Innovative Architecture, Open and Integrated
While EMC believes that virtualization will exist throughout the IT infrastructure, architecture is also critical for delivering value to customers. Unlike in-band (appliance or array-based) storage virtualization architectures that introduce significant bottlenecks by performing all of their processing within the data path, Invista is based on an out-of-band approach that places the virtualization intelligence in the storage network to eliminate impact on server or application performance.
Through the use of open APIs (application programming interfaces), Invista insulates customers from storage hardware lock-in and prepares enterprises for the emergence of the Fabric Application Interface Standard (FAIS) API for network-based applications. Invista also is integrated with EMC ControlCenter™, EMC's industry-leading family of storage resource and device management software.
Pricing and availability
EMC will complete Invista beta testing this quarter, with general availability in the third quarter of 2005 for EMC Connectrix branded switches from Brocade and Cisco. Support for McDATA is expected in early 2006. List price for an Invista configuration capable of virtualizing at least 64 terabytes of storage, including all Invista hardware and software, is $225,000, representing a 30% savings over a comparably configured IBM solution.
Invista implementations will begin first in larger enterprise environments where the need for non-disruptive operation is the greatest. Over time and as industry standards mature, Invista will be available for smaller environments and via EMC's Velocity channel partners.
EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world leader in products, services and solutions for information storage and management that help organizations extract the maximum value from their information, at the lowest total cost, across every point in the information lifecycle. Information about EMC's products and services can be found at www.EMC.com .
Additional Customer, Analyst, Partner Statements
Steve McCaa is Senior Technical Architect at Kroll Ontrack, the technology services subsidiary of Kroll Inc. which provides electronic and paper-based discovery, computer forensics and data recovery solutions to help companies, law firms and government agencies. According to Steve, "Our clients depend on rapid and secure access to their case documents and information. When recently introduced to EMC Invista, we realized its network-based storage virtualization capabilities would provide the flexibility, scalability and data mobility needed to non-disruptively move data across our infrastructure and allocate storage to support an unexpected volume of information based on our customers' unique requirements. This will not only enable better management of our datacenters, but will ensure our customers are able to access their critical information as needed."
Park Jong-Kwon, Deputy Director of KTF, a premier communications company in Korea, said, "We have successfully tested the EMC Invista storage virtualization platform and experienced very satisfying results. Our first priority is always to produce the highest- quality products and services for customers. Our business processes cannot afford the downtime required to make changes to our infrastructure. KTF is interested in Invista to solve critical operational problems by providing non-disruptive and dynamic data migration of multi-hundred terabytes across heterogeneous storage systems from vendors such as EMC, HDS and HP."
Michael Passe, Storage Architect at CareGroup/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said, "We're firm believers that data presentation functions like migration should live in the storage network. We like EMC Invista's ability to integrate with our existing high-performance, high-bandwidth Cisco switches without hindering application performance. We're also very interested in its ability to non-disruptively optimize our environment, maximize performance, allocate and reallocate capacity and change layouts based on changing business needs."
Carl Follstad, from a large research university located in Minnesota said, "Virtualization is the necessary next step. EMC Invista takes the appropriate approach by integrating with our existing Cisco infrastructure, putting virtualization in the storage fabric and providing a common interconnect for storage devices. Invista will enable us to reduce SAN administration, ease data migration, move LUNs on the fly and react quickly to changing storage requirements. We plan to implement this technology in the future."
Charles King, Principal Analyst, Pund-IT, Inc., said, "The new EMC Invista demonstrates the benefits enterprise customers can enjoy when storage vendors think 'out-of-the-band.' EMC's new network-based storage virtualization solution provides a flexible, non-disruptive means for businesses to satisfy their immediate needs and offers the scalability and performance required to secure their investments against future demands. Overall, we believe Invista will be regarded as an invaluable tool for enhancing the management and provisioning of heterogeneous storage infrastructures."
William P. Hurley, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, said, "The EMC Invista SAN virtualization platform's immediate support for heterogeneous storage products directly addresses unmet customer requirements for better intelligence in the SAN fabric. Invista allows end-users to employ robust data management and movement function within the SAN fabric, providing operation simplicity and real cost savings."
John Webster, Senior Analyst & Partner, Data Mobility Group, said, "For years EMC's stated intention has been to put storage intelligence in the most appropriate places. The storage network is now one of those places. Above that, Invista is significant in that it demonstrates EMC's move toward an open standard platform for storage virtualization based on the INCITS' FAIS standard."
David Hill, Principal, Mesabi Group, said, "With the introduction of EMC Invista for block-level storage virtualization, EMC validates the long-awaited concept of intelligence in SAN switch platforms. Specifically, Invista enables enterprises to preserve existing assets such as replication software functionality while performing critical storage tasks such as non-disruptive volume migration more effectively. In addition, Invista puts in place a storage network-based intelligence foundation upon which future capabilities can be added. The storage network intelligence 'sun' is now rising thanks to EMC as the focus of the storage 'solar system' turns to the network."
Tom Buiocchi, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Brocade, said, "Enterprise data center managers know that a virtualization solution from EMC and Brocade will provide the performance and reliability they require. We have worked closely with EMC on the EMC Invista solution to respond to the demand for new efficiencies in the data center and to make sure that IT professionals can choose the best available technology for managing complex and heterogeneous storage environments."
Soni Jiandani, Cisco's Vice President and General Manager of the High End Switching and Storage Business Units, said, "The MDS 9000 Family of SAN switches provides a feature-rich integrated platform for EMC Invista, with advanced features such as industry standard Virtual SANs and integrated multiprotocol capability for iSCSI and FCIP. The combined solution of Invista hosted on Cisco's SAN switches will help our mutual customers increase their flexibility, simplify management, and reduce the total cost of managing their storage environment. In addition, the work by both our companies in developing the emerging Fabric Application Interface Standard (FAIS) will bring customers greater choice and flexibility in standards-based applications to meet their needs today and into the future."
Wayne Morris, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, McDATA, said, "We are pleased to partner with EMC to deliver virtualization capabilities that are adaptable with customers' networks. EMC Invista is a high-performance solution that allows customers to leverage their existing investments. When combined with McDATA's VSM platform, customers gain a secure, reliable and interoperable CPU module that exists outside the director chassis, so network integrity is never compromised and without taking up real estate in the directors. Then end result is virtualization spanning multiple devices and fabrics with the highest bandwidth and performance in the industry."