CEO Joe Tucci denies his company is moving into the server business, but EMC's soon-to-come solid-state device appears to clash with his contention.
VEGAS-Even though it appears to be only a matter of time before world storage
market leader EMC officially enters the server market, Joe Tucci will admit to
nothing of the sort at this point.
we're not," EMC's triple-threat president, CEO and chairman of the board
told eWEEK May 9 when asked that question at a crowded press conference at EMC
World 2011 here at the Venetian Hotel.
are playing at the server level in many areas, no question about it. But as for
building devices for the server market, we have partners that already do a good
job at it, so we're not going there."
so, it sure looks like EMC is edging closer to becoming a player in the server
business so it can become a full-service systems provider. EMC still
needs to provide servers and networking-namely, a router of some kind-to earn
that level of distinction.
was answering questions in response to the company's announcement that it will
launch a new PCIe/NAND flash-based serverlike device, code-named Project
Lightning, next fall.
a PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) card that slides into a slot
within a server to do a specific job-in this case, moving virtual machines and
their workloads around-EMC will be jumping into a new tank of sharks named IBM,
Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Oracle and Cisco Systems. Of course, EMC has been
competing with all those companies and many more in the storage, data
protection and virtualization software sectors for most of the past decade, so
this is nothing new.
whole idea is for the data and its processing node in a virtualized system to
be as close together as possible for efficiency reasons. Lightning is designed
to provide this agility.
EMC Entering a New Market
this does represent a whole new market for the Hopkinton, Mass.-based
corporation, even though Lightning is not your standard, full-on data center
server that one might find in an HP or IBM catalog. At its most basic,
Lightning can be described as an adjunct server-level device.
Lightning announcement here at EMC World was part of a larger EMC corporate
announcement about the company's intention to increase its reliance on NAND
flash storage during the next few years.
addition to the new storage "semi-server," EMC said it plans to design,
test and qualify MLC-based SSDs (solid-state drives) for enterprise-class
applications and incorporate them into its systems later this year. The company
also said it will introduce an all-flash configuration of its VNX unified
storage system that will run more virtual servers with heavier workloads.
to help guide these projects, EMC has started a dedicated NAND flash business
unit to exploit new market opportunities.
likes to remind people that it was the first company to incorporate flash-based
solid-state drives into enterprise storage in 2008 and has shipped nearly 14
petabytes of flash capacity in storage arrays since 2010-more than anyone in
the industry. Half of all EMC Symmetrix VMAX high-end storage systems and VNX
unified storage systems (which launched only last January) ordered now
incorporate flash capacity of some sort, mostly for boot-up and specific
has predicted that by the end of 2012, all of EMC's data center products will
have NAND flash aboard for one purpose or another.
Integrated with EMC's FAST Tiering-ware
a generous implementation of DRAM cache and NAND flash storage, Lightning will
be integrated with EMC's FAST (fully automated storage tiering) software to
optimize data placement from the storage array into another server for
accelerated performance, EMC President and Chief Operating Officer of
Information Infrastructure Products Pat Gelsinger said.
cards are used in PCs, servers and storage arrays as a motherboard-level interconnect
(to link motherboard-mounted peripherals) and as an expansion card interface
for add-in boards. The PCIe standard, now under review, is designed to replace
the older PCI, PCI-X and AGP standards.
key difference between PCIe and earlier buses is a topology based on
point-to-point serial links, rather than a shared parallel bus architecture.