EMC World 2012: EMC unveils record number of new products

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EMC has announced the launch of 42 new and updated products, spanning virtualisation, storage and backup, at its annual customer and partner summit in Las Vegas.

The storage giant hailed the launch as the largest in its history and proof of its commitment to providing companies of all sizes with the tools needed to embrace cloud and tackle big data.

To give you distinctive products, we invest 11 per cent of our revenue and set aside $2 billion for acquisitions.

During his second EMC World keynote, the firm's chief executive, Joe Tucci, gave attendees an insight into how the vendor bankrolls product development.

"For us to give you distinctive products, [we do that] by investing 11 per cent of our revenue in organic research and development [and] another $2 billion on buying truly innovative little companies. This works for us, and that's a $4.5 billion annual spend on technology," he explained.

Here we take a closer look at some of the highlights from its bumper crop of new offerings, breaking down the products according to where they sit in EMC's ever growing portfolio.

Enterprise storage

The firm has ushered in a new three-strong family of VMAX enterprise storage arrays: the 10K, 20K and 40K.

During a media preview, Brian Gallagher, president of EMC's enterprise storage division, concisely described products as "fast, faster and fastest," before spending the bulk of his time waxing lyrical about the benefits of the 40K.

The product is powered by an Intel Xeon 6-core processor. It can also support up to four PB of data, and Gallagher claimed its three times faster than competing arrays from the likes of IBM and Hitachi Data Systems.

"For customers that have constrained datacentres, the 40K also delivers more drives in less space, less weight and consumes less energy," he added.

Unified storage

The success of EMC's range of flash-based, mid-market VNX products, since their launch 18 months ago, has been a regular source of discussion at EMC World.

Rich Napolitano, president of the unified storage division at EMC, said the products were responsible for much of the "substantial growth" it enjoyed in the mid-market last year.

"We had an amazing year," he said. "We had our biggest VNX deal in the history of the company, [which was] an Exchange implementation with 14 PB of Exchange on VNX."

To capitalise on this, EMC debuted a new member of the range, called the VNXe3150, which will be sold exclusively thorough the firm's network of channel partners.

The sub-$10,000, entry-level device is aimed at organisations that want to deploy private clouds and supports 2.5 inch and flash drives.

"You will continue to see us drive these price points further down market and push these capabilities further and further up the product set," he added.

Backup and recovery

While partners and customers wait to find out how they stand to benefit from EMC's latest round of acquisitions, the team from Data Domain - the company it acquired in 2009 - showcased their new deduplication storage system.

It is called the DD990 and EMC has hailed the device as the "world's fastest single controller deduplication" product and claims it has three times the capacity of its nearest competitor.

William "BJ" Jenkins, president of EMC's backup and recovery systems division, said: "It backs up 248 TB in eight hours. It has up to 1.3PB of usable capacity. You can consolidate 270 remote sites onto this [through a] very simple installation."

In a similar vein, the vendor also claims that the latest version of its Avamar deduplication software will provide the fastest backup and recovery service for VMware environments in the industry. It also now supports SAP, Sybase and Microsoft's SQL Server 2012.

"Avamar is now three times faster for back up and 30 times faster for recovery," added Jenkins.

In the pipeline

As well as the formal product announcements, EMC also provided end users and partners with a sneaky peek at some of the products they can expect to get their hands on in future.

Another relative newcomer to the EMC fold, Isilon (who the firm acquired last year) revealed that it is working on a new version of its OneFS scale-out NAS operating system, which is expected to feature a raft of new data protection, security and performance enhancements.

"We think this is going to create huge opportunity for the expansion of our business and will really be an important milestone in the scale out storage industry," said Sujal Patel, co-founder and president of EMC Isilon.

Meanwhile, anyone hoping for some clarity about what EMC plans to do with XtremIO, the flash-based storage company it acquired earlier this month, would have been left wanting, as no concrete details were forthcoming.

Instead, there were several cryptic mentions of "Project X", which EMC's Tucci confirmed was a thinly-veiled reference to XtremIO.

However, EMC's chief operating officer, Pat Gelsinger, did state that whatever Project X ends up being, will go on general release next year, with beta testing set to start during Q4.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.