LAS VEGAS—Day 1 of EMC World is always one of the newsiest days of the year in the data storage business, and May 2 at the Sands Expo Center here was no different from years gone by.
Next year's will be a change, however, because it will be called Dell EMC World, combining the parent company's smaller Austin, Texas-based conference with EMC's larger event. About 10,000 attendees are here this week; the conference closes May 5.
EMC, the world's largest storage provider in the midst of an acquisition by Dell that probably won't close until October due to some red tape (pun intended) involving the Chinese government, made a series of new-product announcements, including an important one about an all-flash array for midrange-type companies.
New products aside for the moment, at least the corporate branding for combining two of the world's largest and most successful IT companies has been worked out ahead of time.
Dell Wanted a 'Family' Name
"We wanted to convey a family of businesses and aligned capabilities, and as family names go, I'm kind of attached to Dell," Dell CEO and founder Michael Dell (pictured) said during his Day 1 keynote. "So after the close of the transaction, our family of businesses will be officially known as Dell Technologies. It's got a nice ring to it."
Dell Technologies will comprise Dell, EMC Information Infrastructure, VMware, Pivotal, SecureWorks, RSA and Virtustream.
The client solutions business will be branded Dell.
"The brand equity of the Dell PC is irreplaceable, and we've gained [market] share for 13 straight quarters," Dell said, seizing an opportunity to disparage a key competitor. "In fact, in the United States, our client business grew 4 percent, and in the same period, HP [Inc.]'s client business declined minus 14 percent.
"Do you see a correlation there?"
The combined enterprise IT business will be named Dell EMC, Dell said.
'Standing at the Center of World Technology'
"When Dell and EMC combine, our company and all of you, our customers and partners, will stand at the center of the world's technology infrastructure, and that means that we stand at the center of human progress. And there's no place I'd rather be," Dell said.
The biggest new-products news of Day 1 of EMC World 2016 was about the new Unity midrange all-flash array. The new systems hold up to 80TB of capacity and provide full enterprise capabilities for about $18,000, EMC President of Products and Marketing Jeremy Burton told reporters and analysts.
"That price is about half the cost of the nearest competitor, as far as we can tell," Burton said.
If true, it could truly bring the all-flash storage model into many midsize businesses that couldn't afford it previously.
The Unity is designed specifically for small, midsize and departmental enterprise IT deployments and is available in all-flash array, hybrid array, software-defined and converged configurations, Burton said. The package features unified file and block storage services in a dense 2U footprint.
Key Features for Unity
Unity is fairly fast, delivering up to 300K IOPS, Burton said. Technical features include:
--True dual-active controller architecture;
--Support for file, block and VVols;
--Snapshots and remote sync/async replication;
--Native, controller-based encryption;
--New scalable file-system for transactional and traditional file use cases;
--VMware VASA 2.0, VAAI, VVols, VMware-aware Integration;
--Complete REST-API for automation and DevOps use cases;
--Integrated Copy Data Management with EMC iCDM; and
--Zero-impact garbage collection.
Unity also can be deployed in a hybrid configuration to meet individual business requirements.
In an op-ed-type comment on the news, Dell EMC competitor Tintri shot off an email to eWEEK later in the day about Unity.
"EMC's introduction of Unity contains a lot of bluster," CTO Kieran Harty wrote. "The reality is there's very little that's new. It's the same old LUN-based architecture with a shiny, new UI. It's more lipstick on the VNX pig. Organizations need storage specifically built for their virtualized applications, with virtual machine level replication, multi-hypervisor support, quality of service and automation."
Unity is the latest member of EMC's all-flash portfolio of file and block storage for small and medium-sized IT departments. It joins EMC's portfolio of all-flash storage arrays—XtremIO, VMAX All Flash and DSSD D5—to ensure that, no matter what a customer needs, EMC has a purpose-built solution to fit virtually any data center use case.