has been talking publicly about an all-flash datacenter
storage array for about a year and a half, and the company has put its money where its mouth is, so to speak, by developing acquiring flash
array maker XtremIO this spring and developing flash products such as its VCache enterprise flash storage
. Project X, the code name for this all-flash endeavor, is coming to market in 2013.
Although flash technology has been used in the enterprise for some time, EMC says that Project X is about building a complete storage, server, and software solution from the ground up based on flash instead of merely integrating flash technology into existing structures, such as in a hybrid array that relies on flash to boost overall performance.
Project X will be built with standard components, including x86 processors and SSDs, and it will have Ethernet and Fibre Channel interfaces. The centerpiece of the whole thing, though, looks to be EMC’s proprietary software.
"It is an x86-based software that takes full advantage of multicore, understands the characteristics of flash, and is designed to be modular and scalable. That's a very powerful thing for us to start with," Zahid Hussain, senior vice president and general manager of EMC's flash products division told Computerworld.
Eventually, EMC believes the software will cover all the flash components of the enterprise and can enable better QoS, better data deduplication, and next-gen RAID, among other things. The concept of an all-flash storage array has always been intriguing, but as prices have fallen and companies like EMC have thrown resources into developing the technology, it appears that such an array will become a reality within months.