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Invisible Invista

5:00 PM -- EMC spent a lot of time talking about virtualization this week during its earnings call and todays product launch, yet barely mentioned the product that once was the centerpiece of its virtualization strategy. (See EMC Makes Good on DMX-3 and EMC Refreshes NAS, SAN.)

You remember Invista, right? Or maybe you know it as EMC Storage Router, which EMC called it until officially launching the block virtualization appliance last June. (See Startups Abuzz Over Intelligence.) EMC certainly talked about the product a lot more when it was still known by its code name. After naming it Invista upon its launch last May, EMC backtracked and said it wouldn’t be all that, at least for a few quarters until remote replication, continuous data protection (CDP), and mainframe support were added. (See EMC Unveils Invista.) And it didn’t expect many sales until making changes either.

These days, EMC executives spend plenty of time talking about file virtualization and VMware server virtualization software, but Invista gets only cursory mention. EMC says the appliance started shipping in the fourth quarter, but won't say how many customers have signed on let alone name any. No timetable has been set for any enhancements either.

VMware continues as a strong seller, and the file virtualization technology EMC acquired from Rainfinity should make NAS customers happy. But with IBM plugging away with its SAN Volume Controller (SVC), Hitachi Data Systems with TagmaStore, and more vendors entering the game, EMC isn’t doing any better in block storage virtualization than before it even had Invista.

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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