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OpenStack and EMC (and ViPR!) - My Take

UPDATED 9/26/2014 with latest supported driver information

A Little Background

I put up a blog post on the EMC Communities site yesterday outlining EMC's OpenStack support here.

A Quick Recap

More details are available on the above link, but here's the table:

Array Supported Release Protocol Volume Functions Location
VMAX Grizzly, Havana, IceHouse iSCSI, FC All required functions, except ‘Create Vol from snapshot’, ‘Extend vol’ Distribution
VNX Grizzly, Havana, IceHouse iSCSI, FC All required functions Distribution
XtremIO Havana, IceHouse iSCSI All required functions GitHub
ScaleIO Havana, IceHouse SDS/SDC All required functions EMC
Ilsion Havana, IceHouse NFS(Cinder) All required functions EMC
ViPR Havana, IceHouse iSCSI, FC All required functions GitHub


My Take

We announced yesterday the availability of a non-commercial edition of the ViPR controller. That's right, not a time-limited trial, but a fully functioning version. I've waited in anticipation for this version of ViPR to be released, because I think it's particularly relevant to the OpenStack community as it follows a release model that customers in this community are familiar with to (RedHat, Ubuntu).

That said, a common question I hear from OpenStack users is:

If ViPR automates storage provisioning leveraging plug-ins, isn't that what Cinder does? why do I need ViPR?

At the very basic level, they both have an API that you can ask for storage and through plug-ins, that storage will be provisioned from physical arrays. What separates out ViPR is the ability to create virtual arrays and virtual pools of storage made up of multiple different arrays (even from different vendors) but provision them from a single cinder plugin. I can also leverage those same pools for physical servers and VMware environments.  Once the Manila project makes it into incubation and then core, ViPR will be able to provide that single layer of orchestration across heterogeneous clouds, arrays, and protocols.



Why buy ViPR then? Well if you’re looking for EMC Support or you wish to add Object (S3, Swift, Atmos) data services, you’ll need the paid version of ViPR.

If you're interested in getting your hands dirty with ViPR, here is the link to download.