EMC takes VMax from premium to value for the channel

LONDON – EMC introduced version 3.0 of VMax open enterprise storage data platform at its Redefine event. The VMax portfolio will also come with an aggressive pricing strategy.

Colin Bailey, senior director of enterprise storage division for EMC, told CDN that the company is re-pricing the VMax 100 at a dollar per GB and dollar per input/output operations per second (IOPS). More pricing details are to follow, but Bailey added that by aggressively pricing down the 100 the VMax 200 and 400 units will become more affordable.

“It’s going to be similar to EMC’s VMax 10K entry-level system so now the VMax 100K can scale above and below depending on the situation. It’s a total value play,” he said. EMC has rebranded the 10K to the 100K.

The channel has viewed EMC and the VMax portfolio as premium product and were selling systems to the larger enterprises and data centres.

“Looking at it in a per dollar, per GB way makes it attractive over flash arrays. It gets it into the same ball park for an all flash array. When customers blend let’s say 10 per cent in flash and the rest in hard drives they achieve roughly a 90 per cent all flash array environment. By bringing it down to a dollar per gig makes this a significant change,” Bailey said.

According to EMC, the VMax 3.0 reduces total cost of ownership by 50 per cent, up to 3X the performance of previous generations. Bailey said that his speeds up a channel partners go-to market approach.

The new models also feature HyperMax OS, a converged storage hypervisor and operating system to embed storage infrastructure services on the array.

Another aspect of the VMax announcement was the acquisition of Natick, Mass.-based cloud storage gateway vendor TwinStrata Inc. No details of the acquisition were released, but the company plans to enable seamless public cloud access as an embedded data service for VMax 3.0 customers.

One of the biggest challenges EMC had with the VMax platform was its management complexity. Customers and channel partners had too many steps to add or remove storage for workloads. Previous to this release you needed to run performance analysis for a new service level. The new VMax 3.0 enables you to allocate service levels upfront and then can validate them right after. Bailey called this feature an industry first and takes the service level times down from months to just hours.

“This is a fantastic step forward and now a four petabyte storage can now be done in hours and the channel asked us to improve the time to market and the value proposition for their end customers,” he said.

EMC is also configuring VMax systems out of the factory based on workload analysis. Currently EMC has factories in the U.S. and in Ireland, but Bailey said they would be willing to work with value added distributors such as Arrow for this service.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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