EMC launches Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) with ViPR 2.0

EMC’s Project Nile to be sold as Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) private cloud storage mega-appliances that can scale to Exabytes with ViPR 2.0 as control for underlying VNX arrays

At EMC World in Las Vegas EMC has announced availability of the ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage) storage appliance, which will offer storage capacity into the Exabyte range for enterprises and service providers and which uses EMC’s ViPR storage virtualisation platform to provide block, object-based and Hadoop storage access.

The product – based on Project Nile, unveiled late last year – will see ViPR run on x86 servers as the control layer over EMC VNX-based storage arrays packed with 6TB disk. EMC will initially offer capacities of 360TB, 1.4PB and 2.9PB scalable up to Exabytes and this first configuration will be aimed at a cloud services workload.

ECS aims to be a private cloud alternative that competes on cost for organisations that would otherwise consider public cloud storage offerings. It’s also aimed at service providers that want to use it to provide public cloud services to others, said president of EMC’s advanced software division, Amitabh Srivastava.


He said: “ECS is designed to meet the needs of enterprises that want a simple appliance box and the economics and simplicity of the cloud but without the concerns over control that come with the public cloud.”

ECS will be built around specific workloads and SLAs, said Srivastava. “ECS will be aimed at different workloads and specified according to SLAs. For now we are targetting it at cloud services, with the choice of block, object storage or HDFS access and making it very dense storage.”

But, other than total capacities, however, Srivastava, couldn’t be more specific about likely specs for ECS options.

ECS will use ViPR 2.0, a new version of the storage virtualisation/big data platform.

ViPR – first announced at EMC World this time last year – allows customers to build large, single pools of storage, including with big data capabilities. EMC bills it as enabling customers to build web-scale software-defined storage without needing an army of PhD-level technicians.

On the one hand customers can choose to use ViPR’s control level to unify the management and provisioning of storage from heterogenous media. On the other hand customers can make use of deeper controls in the data plane to enable, for example, management and analytics of data where it resides on the storage media.

Upgrades in ViPR 2.0, announced at the Las Vegas extravaganza, include: the ability for ViPR to run on commodity server hardware (HP’s SL4540 is first, with more to follow); ViPR packaged in a pre-configured hardware appliance; multi-site capabilities with ViPR able to manage storage across multiple datacentres; the use of erasure coding between ViPR instances for data protection; the addition of native Hitachi Data Systems array compatibility (in addition to existing NetApp interoperability), and; connectivity to Dell, IBM and Oracle storage via the OpenStack Cinder block storage connector.

At the show EMC also announced its ScaleIO product, that can create block storage arrays from commodity disk, would be available in a hardware package. This is billed by EMC as providing a “hyperscale converged appliance” that can scale from 10s to 1,000s of nodes.

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