Information Lifecycle Management
Policy-based management capability is crucial for ILM
late, EMC grabbed market share from its competitors and increased its profits.
It began the year by reinventing itselfit just announced a new strategy
and had the most extensive product launch in its history. In an exclusive interview
with Network Magazine, the EMC South Asia executive team updates Brian Pereira
on EMC's ILM strategy, NAS-SAN convergence and its plans for India
All the storage vendors are now talking about ILM. How
does EMC's ILM strategy vary from that of other vendors?
[Ajaz Munsiff] ILM is all about information management. Everyone has been doing
information management for quite sometime, but no one has really looked at the
lifecycle of information. It's the time when data gets created (it enters the
system). It's the time when it's not needed anymore and gets deleted. So it's
all about looking at the information management process from start to finishwith
the end goal of minimizing the cost of IT or information management. That's
Tiered storage is one of the main criteria for ILM. Traditionally, data is either
online (disk) or offline (tape). At EMC in the past, we just had one product
(Symmetrix). Today we have filled the gap. We have a spectrum of products that
address information management from start to finish.
We do not have point products. We offer end-to-end solutions. All products are
part of a family and part of an integrated story. We can talk about the benefits
of a single integrated infrastructure for SAN, NAS and CAS. Physically also,
it is a single integrated infrastructure and we refer to it as Automated Network
But more important than that is the managementthe policy-based management
capability. ILM is the hardware; the platforms are important, but to bring ILM
to life you need software tools and the management capability to deliver lower
TCO throughout the product's lifecycle.
When there is so much information generated it's just
not possible for humans to classify it and choose the appropriate storage medium.
Is there a way to automate this in the ILM scheme?
[Steve Coad] That's the whole purpose of ILM. You would use ILM to automate
the management of your data or information. As the information explosion happens
it becomes impossible to do this manually for all of your data.
So the purpose behind ILM is to have tiered storage (for the right application)
and to be able to automate (have data and information put on that same storage
platform), based on parameters that you set.
The automation happens after all the policies are formed. There isn't a tool
to automate the classification of data. Each vertical will have a different
way of classifying its data. But once the policies are set the information can
be moved to the appropriate storage medium.
EMC is accelerating the convergence of server and storage virtualization. Joe
Tucci, CEO, EMC, said that separation of servers and storage "is being
treated as a thing of the past." Please explain.
[Jon Murray] When he says that the separation of servers and storage is a thing
of the past, he doesn't mean that separate decisions will no longer be made
for storage. He means the whole enterprise will no longer be seen from the management
perspective as 'manage your server environment' or 'now let's manage your storage
Separate decisions for best of breed technology purchases, best servers, storage,
applications etc are still independently made. But the integration of the management
within an ILM infrastructure allows for them to be managed in a virtual environment,
where you have server virtualization.
With server virtualization you have multiple OSs in a single server infrastructure
and you are able to migrate operating systems between server resources in a
virtual infrastructure. Coupled with the ILM storage infrastructure we are talking
about today, it can now be wrapped, from a management perspective, with one
So you are still making an independent server resource decision when I purchase,
versus a separate storage decision for best of breed. Once I put them together
I manage them as a single entity. So separate, yes, in their criteria for buyingbut
What's your approach to NAS-SAN convergence?
[Ajaz Munsiff] For us NAS gateways are the key to NAS-SAN convergence.
We had a software product in the market for the last three years called 'High
Road'. It gives NAS as well as SAN benefits depending on the request from the
application on the server side.
We think that there is limited scope for standalone NAS devices. The future
is NAS gateways in the front-end; and the backend will be pooled SAN storage.
Many companies need file level access with SAN-like capabilities.
How do you plan to address this requirement?
[Steve Coad] EMC is offering storage solutions that bridge NAS and SAN. We have
NAS gateways for this purpose.
If a customer has an EMC SAN with an EMC Clariion (midrange storage solution)
and all these NAS devices, we can put in a gateway and have the data from the
NAS reside on the Clariion, which is connected via SAN, which traditionally
has very good methods of backup, disaster recovery, protection, availability
etc. So it's much more robust than a traditional NAS environment.
Munsiff] The NAS gateway that we have just launched can also be put in front
of the Symmetrix (high-end storage solution), so it is like a Clariion based
What are your focus areas for India this year?
[Jon Murray] We shall continue to invest in our India development center, which
is growing at a rapid rate. We said conservatively that we will add 100 people
this yearit's likely to be more than that. They will develop software
for EMC technology deployments across the globe.
Outside the India operations we will concentrate on sales, support, and professional
services. Our objectives there are to grow significantly. India is the fastest
growing region for us (the other being Thailand).
We've been in India for three years and there's a lot of foreign investment
going into India. We will be focusing on penetrating the enterprise segment
even morenot just the MNCs, but also the Indian domestic companies. We
shall be going after the SMEs. While we shall continue to pursue the BFSI and
Telco verticals at the high-end we also want to target the Media and Entertainment
industries. We'll also pursue Government companies. Today we are in New Delhi,
Mumbai and Bangalore. We want to serve customers in more Indian cities, through
our channel and EMC India.
What's the next frontier of automated network storage?
[Ajaz Munsiff] I think Virtualization is the next frontier of automation. ILM
encompasses everything, right from the application down to the storage level.
Automated network storage is the first step towards Information Lifecycle Management.
ILM requires true virtualization horizontallyacross the storage layerand
vertically with the server layer. (Hence the VMware acquisition). This is EMC's
vision for a Dynamic & Virtual Infrastructure.
is EMC's strategy/plan for Utility Computing (Storage-on-Demand)?
[Ajaz Munsiff] From an infrastructure point of view we see that customers will
have (and its already happening) four separate infrastructures with applications
running across them. The four infrastructures are: clients, network, servers,
and storage. Utility computing requires virtualization across all of these infrastructure
layers and the layers aboveDatabase; Applications.
Customers are already laying the foundation by implementing a virtualized storage
(SAN) layer. This started when EMC first introduced Enterprise Storage in the
mid-90s. This was the beginning of SAN and NAS. So virtualization of the data
layer is the first step in preparation for utility based computing. Customers
who already have automated networked storage in place have a clear advantage,
a head start. They already have Storage-On-Demand.