From business applications to online backups, the cloud has helped popularize the self-service model. Now it's storage's turn, says EMC.
Today, the data storage giant took the wraps off a new pre-configured, Symmetrix-based offering called VMAX Cloud Edition. And according to Colin Bailey, senior director of Product Marketing for EMC, it "is truly game-changing."
First, the company started with a tried-and-true technology base, said Bailey. Cloud Edition was "engineered on VMAX," adding that from the start, it was built as a no-compromise storage foundation for "high-end, mission critical" workloads.
EMC's mission: "Let's make everything tier-1. Let's build a product like VMAX," said Bailey.
Just don't lump it together with the rest of the VMAX product line. Despite drawing inspiration from VMAX SP, EMC's cloud service provider model, Cloud Edition is a "distinct member of the family," he added.
What sets VMAX Cloud Edition apart is a set of capabilities that enables the system to anchor public, private and hybrid clouds with self-service options, deep automation and support for rich reporting.
VMAX Cloud Edition features a self-service dashboard -- not unlike popular cloud services -- that enables users to easily apply or change between predefined service levels for their applications or allocate capacity without the intervention of a storage administrator. "Gone are engines, drives and nerd-knobs with VMAX Cloud Edition," stated Peter C. Conway, vice president of EMC's Enterprise Storage Division in a company blog post.
The effect on an IT organization can be profound, according to Conway. "A DBA, a business application owner or virtualization manager – with no specialized storage skills – can easily provision storage 6X faster than a storage expert provisioning storage traditionally," he wrote.
The new system also brings new levels of automation to storage management, added Bailey. VMAX Cloud Edition can "automate common storage provision tasks" like volume creation "without touching the host, switch and storage," he said.
Conway echoed that sentiment, adding that cloud services providers, in particular, stand to make big efficiency gains. "VMAX Cloud Edition accelerates the design and implementation of 'as-a-service delivery' up-to 4.5X faster than any other multi-tenant storage in the industry today," he wrote.
"VMAX Cloud Edition basically eliminates the steps to design/model/test service levels, create array configurations, and implement the configuration. VMAX Cloud Edition automates all of those day to day storage tasks," added Conway.
Rounding out the storage system's features are REST API support, built-in metering and charge back reporting, and customizable reports.