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EMC Unveils Invista

NEW ORLEANS EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) today launched its storage virtualization appliance, christened it Invista, and admitted it will take at least until next year to achieve wide market appeal.

EMC chief development officer Mark Lewis kicked off EMC’s Tech Summit here today with the official announcement of the product he sketched out a year ago under the code name Storage Router. He said Invista will ship in the third quarter – a bit behind schedule – and originally will be targeted at large enterprises with at least five storage arrays, 50 Tbytes of storage, and 100 ports in use.

The shipping product is similar to what EMC has been demonstrating at tradeshows and talking about for the past year, albeit with a few missing parts (see EMC Takes Storage Router for a Spin and New EMC Group Jabs Veritas). Initially, Invista doesn’t include all the virtualization functionality of the IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) SAN Volume Controller and Hitachi Data Systems' TagmaStore.

Lewis says remote replication, continuous data protection (CDP), and mainframe support are in the works, though he provides no specific date for the upgrade and hints that features will be added gradually. Industry sources, however, say EMC will ship a significantly upgraded version of Invista in the first quarter of next year.

Until today, EMC had pledged to ship Invista by the end of June (see EMC Growth Continues and The Envelope, Please ...). As that's been pushed back at least a little, and some things are missing, EMC is already playing catchup. IBM has been shipping SVC since 2003, and Hitachi unveiled its virtualization when it launched TagmaStore last September. Besides replication, Hitachi and IBM have wider support for other vendors’ hardware.

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