EMC Debuts VFCache for Superfast Data Movement over Networks
Sometimes the world of technology gets a little … technical. But it’s all worth understanding. Case in point: EMC’s new VFCache. It’s going to bring supercharged caching capabilities to servers for anything from storage, database needs or even application performance. How does it all work? Through a PCI Express slot, of course.
Imagine a PCI Express graphics card. Now imagine that instead of a GPU on the card, it’s covered in Flash memory modules. Welcome to EMC’s VFCache, AKA “Project Lightning.” VFCache essentially can be combined with any existing EMC FAST-enabled storage array servers (VMAX, VMAXe, VNX and VNXe) and instantantly improve performance and latencies in a variety of aforementioned use cases. EMC promises it will “deliver I/Os measured in millions and timed in microseconds.” That kind of speed is exciting, especially when it’s applied to disaster recovery and other mission-critical needs, but even more so in the virtualization and cloud world.
So what’s the big deal? Leveraging PCI Express is a unique way to create high-performance technology that’s easily expandable but also much more safe and efficient. Since data is first dumped into VFCache storage through the PCI Express slot, the need for hot data to travel through the network to the storage array is eliminated. More simply, data that’s being accessed or demanded has instant clearance for landing, instead of waiting for the storage array to parse each chunk of data immediately.
VFCache is still hot and fresh, and an early access program for the card is expected in Q2 2012. Later in the year, EMC is planning to expand VFCache to support more capacity and advanced reduplication. As virtualization, cloud and storage needs all grow exponentially, the demand for superfast data-parsing technology such as this likely will expand. EMC VARs — or storage VARs in general — definitely should think about adding high-end storage solutions to their portfolio.