Having just been asked the question at 3:00AM this morning (Sleep is for the weak) I thought it was time to define ViPR as I understand it.
As *I* understand it mind you. It’s creators, EMC sales & marketing and who knows who else might have a different opinion than I do, but with that said to me:
ViPR is a policy based configuration, management, monitoring and self service provisioning for heterogeneous storage infrastructure. It also provides additional data services to the storage in that infrastructure.
Begin the complaining emails, dial up the snarky comments, dispatch the marketing killbots, but brass tacks that’s what ViPR is today.
It’s not about the encapsulation of LUNs behind an array controller, it is about logging into a portal, filling out some fields & checking some boxes to specify performance, availability requirements and so on, then hitting a button for ViPR to make everything you just specified happen.
Zoning, masking, quality of service, LUN or File system creation, access control, snapshot policy, replication type and the destruction of all of those when you decide you’re done with them, performed by automation. And when all that is done ViPR gets out of the way. It monitors. meters and reports but your data doesn’t flow through it.
You no longer have this brand of array controller or that brand of array controller you have storage pools which can provide you this performance, that availability and these kinds of data services. Logical management abstractions of physical resources with physical connectivity.
What about the data services you don’t have? What if you want object storage but want to reuse your existing storage? What if that existing storage is feature poor? Well ViPR can use that storage as a target for data services ViPR itself will provide. ViPR can use your NAS storage as object storage target, provide Atmos, SWIFT and S3 API access and allow you to access those objects as files if you so choose.
Want to pour a lot of your existing data through Hadoop? No problem, ViPR can present that data from where it is as HDFS. No need to copy that data into a Hadoop file system and then run Hadoop against it.
Those are two of the additional data services ViPR can make available above and beyond what might have come in the storage array from your provider and it’s my understanding the ViPR team will be adding more over time.
Bottom line: Policy based automation for the stuff you have and the ability in software to add the stuff you don’t.
(Now I am going to bed,
tomorrow today is a travel day.)