BOSTON -- EMC today announced at its annual user conference here a private cloud appliance that allows synchronous replication between storage arrays up to 100km apart, including the applications and virtual machines associated with them.
The EMC VPLEX appliance supports only block-level data replication across distance, but the company said it is aiming to support file and object-based storage eventually. The device is squarely positioned at providing data migration for automated storage provisioning, disaster recovery, and business continuity because of its ability to create active remote data centers, allowing users to automatically fail over from one data center to another.
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"This is a fundamentally game-changing technology on how storage can be federated," EMC chief executive Joe Tucci said during a keynote speech. "Obviously, this is far more green than the old way of running a data center."
Tucci said the company's vision is all about the private and public cloud where, like virtualization in data centers and within storage arrays, a layer of abstraction will be created so that where data resides in a physical location will not be visible to the applications using it.
Tucci described EMC's vision as a "federation of resources," where storage capacity and application workloads can dynamically move between data centers.
The VPLEX comes in two versions: the VPLEX Local, a single 2U (3.5-in high) appliance for replication within a single data center between EMC arrays and the VPLEX Metro, which allows two of the boxes synchronous connectivity up to 100km.The 100km distance limit is due more to application limitations than the arrays' physical capability to replicate data, according to Brian Gallagher, president of EMC's Symmetrix and Virtualization Product Group. For example, it takes about 5 milliseconds for data to travel between two data centers that are 100km apart and connected by fiber optic cables.
"Our vision is really to go away from having discrete data centers," Gallagher said "This has never been done in the past. It allows for access over distance. [Administrators] can move data and access it across data centers."
Gallagher said the VPLEX allows administrators to balance workloads over 100km distances and to automatically fail over between data centers to avoid disasters.
"If there's a hurricane in one part of the world, you can teleport applications and data to another part of the world," Gallagher said.