EMC finally dipped its toe into storage virtualization technology waters Monday by announcing the availability and pricing scheme of its EMC Invista product and storage virtualization platform, formally named EMC Virtual Storage Router.
Currently in limited beta release, the product will be generally available next quarter.
Unveiled at the EMC Technology Summit in New Orleans, the EMC ControlCenter-run Invista enables users to virtualize pools of network storage and nondisruptively copy and migrate data across storage devices or from one tier of storage to another.
The hardware- and software-based product features integration with intelligent SAN (storage area network) switch platform technology to enable unified volume management within heterogeneous environments, according to Dennis Hoffman, vice president at EMC Software, for Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp.
EMC Invista will be available in Q3 for EMC Connectrix branded switches from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc.
Support for switches from McData Corp. is expected to arrive in 2006, according to EMC officials.
The cost of a fully hardware- and software-loaded Invista configured to virtualize at least 64TB of storage is $250,000.
Initially designed to be geared toward larger enterprise customers, Invista is the last entrant to the virtual storage arena following the 2003 release of IBMs SAN Volume Controller and Hitachi Data Systems TagmaStore Universal Storage platform, which was unveiled last year.
Analysts say that EMCs nonproprietary "out-of-band" architectural approach toward storage virtualization is different enough in terms of performance from its competitors to warrant interest from storage customers examining the nascent technology.