This is, in my personal opinion, one of the coolest stories at EMC World this year – and let me tell you why. What do you think is harder: inventing something new with a clean sheet of paper, or changing the entire car as it’s barreling around a racetrack?
There’s a joke in the IT industry that “The reason God was able to create the world in only six days was because he didn't have to deal with an installed base.”
I think what Unity represents is an incredible engineering achievement – and an incredible story – a wholesale architectural change, while moving, with a massive installed base.
This post will cover what’s new in Unity, but the thing that the most fascinating is the story behind the story. I’ve been lucky to see it from the inside, and today I’ll share it (from my perspective) with all of you.
EMC VNX has an installed base that is well, well north of 100,000 deployed arrays. It has been the most successful EMC platform to date in terms of the number of people and customers, and VNX brings more net new customers to EMC than anything else we do – even as it became increasingly aged.
The VNX was released on Jan 18th, 2011. That’s more than 5 years ago. For perspective, that’s when the first MacBook Pro was released, and about a year before Windows Server 2012.
Since then – it’s been a huge success.
Now – even before the VNX was born, we were already grappling with how we would transition the architecture and move completely past it’s CLARiiON and Celerra roots, and their deep architectural underpinnings – we needed to move away from the old, but how?
There are other examples of “change the engine while the car is running” in the storage ecosystem playing out, and it is NOT EASY. I’m not saying we’re perfect, but this is an interesting example that has been occurring in parallel, somewhat “under people’s noses”.
Unity is that – and it’s a whole new platform – we have swapped every part out while not missing a beat in VNX/VNXe.
Unity will redefine the mid-range unified market. Its faster, denser, less expensive, and simpler than all of it’s competition (and we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is with a money-back guarantee).
VNX was the king in this space. The King (VNX) is dead (though not EOL!), long live the King (Unity)!
For more gory technical detail, and the fascinating story behind the scenes – read on!