EMC ViPR is a lightweight, software-only solution that abstracts storage from disparate arrays into a single pool of storage capacity to deliver higher-level storage services that are predicated on the 3rd platform, such as Storage-as-a-Service. Think of it like the storage equivalent of server virtualization and Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
ViPR enables you to manage heterogeneous storage environments, including third-party arrays and commodity storage. In fact, ViPR can manage any standard API–driven storage. But what makes ViPR unique, is that unlike previous implementations of storage virtualization, ViPR decouples the control path from the data path.
By abstracting the control path, storage management operates at the virtual layer, which gives customers the ability to partition a storage pool into virtual storage arrays. Very similar to the fundamentals of the software layer abstraction of the physical server hardware that creates virtual machine instances which nurtured compute resource pools that laid the groundwork for IaaS. Now, with the addition of Storage-as-a-Service, IT professionals can build a holistic service catalog that gives IT business leaders the options necessary to meet business demand.
ViPR is a scale-out software platform, delivered as a virtual appliance that runs on VMware ESX servers. To assure high availability, it is recommend that you have a minimum of three appliances. With this foundation, ViPR is capable of executing thousands of provisioning operations per hour.
Through the ViPR portal, the storage administrator defines the storage environment that it wants ViPR to manage, including storage arrays, SAN switches, and data protection devices. ViPR discovers and abstracts physical storage arrays with all their unique capabilities into a single virtual pool.
Next, administrators create virtual storage arrays, which are software representations of physical storage arrays, usually associated with common attributes like location, project, or group of users or tenants, managed at the virtual layer according to automated policies.
Finally, the storage administrator configures virtual storage pools, which are pre-defined storage service levels. Users subscribe to a Virtual Storage Pool that meets their workload’s demands. The user does not need to know or care about the underlying hardware and software that is providing the data service to their application.
For VMware users, with ViPR, the storage layer can now be another programmatic virtual resource in the SDDC. ViPR provides specific VMware integration with interfaces into the VMware vStorage API for Storage Awareness (VASA), vCenter Operations, and vCenter Orchestrator, as well as vCenter Cloud Automation Center. With ViPR, a vCenter administrator has end-to-end visibility from the virtual machine to physical storage.
This really gives IT operations the tools to build an enterprise-class private cloud on their journey to defining their IT services that comprise their IT Service Portfolio. IT operations can now become a strategic partner in ensuring the success of the business, not a bystander or necessary overhead for running the organization.