EMC kicked off its annual EMC World 2010 event in Boston by launching a new product line called V-Plex that will serve as a foundation for the alternative vision of cloud computing that EMC wants to offer to IT departments.

V-Plex is a storage virtualization product that wants to allow IT to manage storage in a much more dynamic way, similar to how server virtualization has allowed IT to transform servers from physical boxes into software resources that can be moved, replicated, and recovered a lot faster and easier.

EMC specifically released two products on Monday, V-Plex Local and V-Plex Metro. Both are available immediately, with prices starting at $77,000 for the on-premises solution and $26,000 for a subscription version of the product.

V-Plex Metro offers the ability to connect two V-Plex Local storage clusters across separate locations (up to 100km/60 miles apart) and treat them like a single pool of storage. In 2011, EMC also plans to extend this concept to a larger regional solution (V-Plex Geo), and then eventually offer a global solution (V-Plex Global). The diagram below offers a look at the four flavors of V-Plex.

EMC COO Patrick Gelsinger, said:

“VPLEX is groundbreaking technology and that will change the way data centers are designed and managed. It’s a core component of EMC’s virtual storage vision and will do to storage what server virtualization has done to computing and will provide game changing levels of efficiency and flexibility. The ability to share, move and access large amounts of data regardless of location is a key element of the journey to the private cloud. VPLEX technology will enable ‘follow the sun’ computing, the relocating of workloads to low-cost energy regions or moving them out of the way of approaching storms. In general, IT environments will be more dynamic and flexible than ever before.”

Brian Gallagher, President of EMC’s Virtualization Group, said:

“EMC has more than 20 years of expertise in designing, understanding and perfecting carrier-class distance and caching solutions. These capabilities and intellectual property have come together as VPLEX. It is a highly resilient, transparent, scale-out architecture that solves fundamentally hard problems that arise when routinely moving petabytes of data. This is critical technology that will enable the journey to the private cloud.”

Below are couple diagrams that EMC provided to help conceptualize V-Plex. The first one shows that EMC sees this as a multi-platform, mutli-vendor strategy (rather than an integrated, vertical strategy). The second one shows how the primary goal of V-Plex is to enable seamless moving of virtual machines, applications, and data across different storage arrays and data centers.


Stayed tuned. We’ll be reporting more details of EMC’s private cloud vision from EMC World this week.