EMC VP Talks Flash Storage Strategy Following VFCache Announcement

Hours after officially releasing its new VFCache Flash storage solution, EMC Corp. on Feb. 6 held a press conference in San Francisco, Calif., to discuss its enterprise Flash strategy. Mark Sorensen, senior VP of EMC's Flash Business Unit , described how VFCache will work with EMC FAST and other products, and how the company's international channel partners will help EMC push to the forefront of enterprise Flash solution development.

"EMC FAST moves data across storage tiers based on how hot it is," Sorenson explained. "VFCache accelerates the reads from the server." So by reading data more quickly, VFCache allows EMC FAST users to moved data around to different storage tiers much faster, EMC asserts.

Disk Drives Still Alive

Even though Flash storage innovation will be a large part of EMC's 2012 plan, both Sorenson and President and CEO of EMC Information Products Pat Gelsinger said Flash won't make traditional disk storage drives completely obsolete.

"Flash storage can be as much as 30x more expensive than disk storage," Gelsinger said. So EMC has focused on Flash storage for performance applications. That is, VFCache is designed to hold data that is being used regularly.

"Some of our competitors only sell Flash storage," Sorenson said. "But only about five percent of a businesses' data is hot, meaning it's being used regularly. And that five percent changes all the time. So EMC FAST can change the data across storage tiers depending on when it's being used and not used, and VFCache speeds up that application performance by 2-3x."

Focus on the Channel

Sorenson also said that EMC plans to focus on its channel business throughout 2012, which ties in well with its VFCache solution development.

"VFCache is interesting to the channel because those who supply servers and system integrators can integrate VFCache into their service offerings," Sorenson said. EMC plans to heavily market VFCache in London City, New York City and along the U.S. West Coast. The company also plans to sell VFCache to the mid-market, along with its more traditional enterprise base.

For service providers, VFCache could help to speed the performance of on-demand and SaaS applications.

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