Notes from EMC World 2013 – ViPR Launch

By | May 7, 2013

Two and a half years at EMC and due to a combination of the bad timing of my start date at EMC and the arrival of my second daughter, this is my first visit to EMC’s global partner and customer event, EMC World.

Obviously, I’ve been to technology conferences before, VMworld Europe and Structure in the last couple of years, but EMC World has very different feel to it. I think this is partly because it’s ‘our’ event in the sense that it’s orientated around EMC technology and our view of what’s happening in IT, but also because there’s a real feel of scale about the event – this year’s event has 17,000 registrants. The venue is enormous, but despite that, and the fact that Monday was the partner day, with ‘only’ about 3,000 attendees, there was still an atmospheric buzz.

So, what were the key messages from yesterday’s partner day? Are far as EMC’s Service Provider Program is concerned, there was an announcement that for 2014, EMC’s partner programs will be unified under the single ‘EMC Business Partner’ brand. It might not be immediately obvious if you don’t work for an SP or value adding IT reseller, but there’s increasingly a trend for convergence between these archetypes, so this makes sense.

ViPR LogoAs far as technology is concerned, the key announcement so far has been the launch of the EMC ViPR Software Defined Storage Platform. A lot has been written about this already, so I’m going to try to avoid repeating all that and just make two points. If you want to read more about ViPR, you can find a good post here.

Firstly, this is a critically important technology for Cloud and IT Service Providers, who need to create service development and delivery platforms with improved characteristics as far as agility and cost efficiency are concerned. Sounds cliched, but introducing API-based management can help to ‘fix’ a lot of constraints with infrastructure and make services providers much more competitive by reducing the time taken to develop new service offerings, as well as reducing the time take to instantiate service instances for customers, which is obviously all good stuff.

Secondly, the ViPR launch has been picked up by a much broader cross-section of the media than most IT product launches, which might indicate that this is being seen as much more than an EMC-only initiative. It’s not been widely discussed, but there is great potential for Service Provider partners, and for that matter EMC competitors, to extend the ViPR platform to create support for non-EMC infrastructure in a similar manner to the way in which the Openstack Cinder Volume Controller can be extended with platform specific adaptors. This should mean that a lot of Service Providers, not just those built on EMC platforms, will see benefit from this technology.

These events are are great combination of walking and talking for me, so I need to finish up for now and go and do some more walking and talking :-)

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