Last week at EMC World, we announced a lot of new technologies and talked a lot about our federated business model, which includes VMware and Pivotal. So let me piece it all together briefly for the benefit of people who want to better understand EMC’s overall storage strategy and how that strategy fits into what the rest of the EMC federation is doing.We remain committed to our best-of-breed strategy in primary arrays and data protection. We don’t believe that a one size solution fits all workloads or use cases. We believe in the right tool for the right job. In certain use cases, we believe flash will have a profound impact on storage infrastructure – whether it be in hybrid arrays, all flash arrays or server-side flash. These flash deployments will form the ‘hot edge’ of storage infrastructure. But according to IDC, through 2017, 97 percent of all storage deployments will still be hard drive based. So it’s clear there is a need for a capacity tier, or ‘cold core’ as we call it. At cloud scale, that’s commodity hardware – purely for economic reasons.Then, so that we’re not creating a new island of storage for applications that are going to be deployed against commodity drives, we created ViPR. Through this software-defined storage layer, we can manage the new applications, the cloud scale apps that run against commodity drives in very much the same way that we can manage the existing primary storage estate. And within there, we’ll also provide data services which run against the commodity hardware, object storage, HDFS storage, file and block.That is fundamentally the storage architecture that is going to plug into VMware’s software-defined data center, which is going to form the basis of the private cloud, and also form the basis of many public clouds as well. VMware Hybrid Cloud Service (vCHS) is a federation asset jointly operated by VMware and EMC, and if you are a VMware and EMC customer, it’s the best way to take advantage of the public cloud, with the kind of service level guarantees and security guarantees that you don’t get from a public cloud.And then from an application standpoint, Pivotal, which is very adept at building next generation applications, will accelerate and ease application deployment in private and public clouds using Cloud Foundry Platform as a Service offering.Then from a security standpoint, security no will longer just be about the security of individual devices in the data path but about the security of all of the data in the organization. Security analytics is where we believe most organizations are headed. To use an analogy, it’s no longer enough to simply put locks on doors. In addition to locks, what’s needed are surveillance cameras to monitor all the traffic across the network as well as the information flow within the organization, to determine what is normal behavior and then detect abnormalities and the presence of an intruder.That’s our product strategy in a nutshell, and every element is part of a broader strategy that maps to what our customers are trying to do in their business.
¹ OEM and ODM switches that ship with or will run SONiC in a production environment Reinvent your operating model with SONiCWhen it comes to the network operating system (NOS), there is a revolution underway. If you’re reading this blog there’s a good chance you’re a part of it—or ready to join. The traditional vertically integrated networking software stack has some inherent limitations, and it’s driving a fundamental shift in the approach to enterprise networking. And that revolution is driving an important evolution of open source enterprise networking, with Software for Open Networking in the Cloud—or SONiC.Since our announcement of the Enterprise SONiC Distribution by Dell Technologies earlier this year, we have continued to evolve this platform, improving the manageability and validation of SONiC on Dell platforms and achieving consistent API and CLI support for all features:Cables & optics qualificationPerformance & scale measurementsScale-out L2/L3 fabrics (VxLAN – EVPN Overlay)Scale-out L3 data center fabricsL2/L3 multicast top-of-rack/aggregationThe availability of a fully supported SONiC distribution with industry-leading manageability is exciting for our industry and for customers. SONiC, based on Linux with containerized microservices, was designed for cloud architecture from day one. The challenge has been to extend the benefits and flexibility of cloud to enterprise and service provider customers, who have unique requirements to integrate SONiC with their data center and network stacks. Enterprise SONiC Distribution by Dell Technologies provides the API, CLI and hardware configuration automation to create the bridge between these two worlds, and it unleashes rapid innovation and customer empowerment unlike anything we have seen in networking.Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in a SONiC industry roundtable, hosted by IDC’s Research Vice President, Datacenter Networks, Brad Casemore. We were joined by Microsoft’s Dave Maltz, VMware’s Pere Monclus and Comcast’s Yiu Lee to discuss the networking revolution that is underway, and how it’s driving the evolution and increasing adoption of SONiC. In fact, as Brad described, IDC is seeing growing demand for switches that ship with or will run SONiC, and forecasts a SONIC data center switch market that will reach $2 billion by 2024¹.Vive l’évolutionThe industry networking software stack traditionally has been vertically integrated with the hardware, along with proprietary management and telemetry features. While the integrated model provided management and support for enterprises and service provider customers, it had many limitations including a slow innovation cycle and limited flexibility to customize the software stack for different deployment options. These limitations were significantly amplified with the transition to cloud and modern applications. Traditional networking was not designed to support an empowered developer community that requires self-serve provisioning, rapid development and implementation of features and automated application deployment. The industry experimented with many network operating systems and open source community projects to resolve this disconnect, with mixed results—until now.SONiC has evolved into an industry software platform with a significant ecosystem and consistent growth in features and adoption. This is the result of deliberate design and investments to solve the root cause of the issues:SONiC is Linux-based NOS with a containerized architecture, which allows developers to leverage all the industry investment in bare metal automation, container management tools and lifecycle management. There is no need to develop separate tools for networking from the rest of the data center stack (compute and storage), as has been the case for traditional networks.Infrastructure managers, developers and site reliability engineering teams are able to use their familiar observability tools, dashboards and processes for networking immediately, and have direct integration with the rest of infrastructure, accelerating project timelines and improving availability dramatically.The cloud-native architecture of SONiC makes it possible to support different silicon and CPU options in many hardware form factors, which expands the use cases significantly to edge, SmartNICs, 5G, NVMe-oF appliances, etc.Additionally, the Enterprise SONiC Distribution by Dell Technologies includes support for API, CLI and hardware configuration for all the features, enabling seamless support for current data center and network deployments. Developers and infrastructure managers no longer have to choose between forward looking cloud architecture and optimization of current deployments with automation.This increasing maturity of SONiC means the time is right for adoption. In our roundtable discussion, Comcast’s Yiu Lee talked about how SONiC delivers the reliability and ease of day-in, day-out operation without additional investment in development resources, particularly as feature sets have become more mature and the SONiC community has gotten stronger.It is really exciting to be at this point in the development—in the evolution—of SONiC, and it will be great to experience the acceleration of innovation that is made possible by this new architecture.I encourage you to get some additional perspective on SONiC by watching the replay of the SONiC industry roundtable. In doing so, I think you’ll see that the time is right to evolve your network infrastructure.Related Links:Replay: SONiC Industry Roundtable Hosted by IDCDell Technologies and SONiC: Open Source Networking That Checks All the BoxesEnterprise SONiC Distribution by Dell Technologies
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