EMC’s Nile Makes the Leap from Project to Product

EMC Nile logoEMC’s “Project Nile” was first revealed at EMC’s MegaLaunch event in 2013. The idea was hyper-scale private cloud storage at a cost-per-gigabyte similar to (or lower than) public cloud storage.

The idea was to provide this storage via software running on commodity storage hardware.

It was clear from the beginning that EMC intended Nile to be disruptive and a game-changer. While introducing the idea for the first time publicly back in September, it was clear that even the choice of name was intended to hurl a proverbial gauntlet at public cloud storage providers. EMC pointed out the the Nile is not only a longer river than the Amazon, but also “less dangerous”.

How Nile Works

Nile is an implementation of the combination of two enabling technologies: ViPR 2.0 and ScaleIO 1.30. ScaleIO runs on commodity hardware (like the HP SL4540) built using x86 processors, SAS disks, and Ethernet connectivity. ViPR is used to manage the ScaleIO cluster and the data services provided by it.

At scale, Nile will provide private cloud storage services at a cost similar to getting those services from a public cloud provider — at a lower cost once the cost of bandwidth to the public cloud is taken into account.

Nile will provide object (supporting the S3 and Atmos APIs), HDFS, and block (iSCSI) services.

Configurations Available at GA

One rack of Nile storageAt GA, Nile will be available in the following configurations:

Object and HDFS configs:

  • Small – 360TB
  • Medium – 1.4PB
  • Large – 2.9PB

Block Configs:

  • Small – 120TB at 12K IOPS
  • Medium – 240TB at 24K IOPS

Mixed Configs:

  • Small – 360TB of Object and HDFS, plus 120TB of Block
  • Medium – 1.4PB of Object and HDFS, plus 240TB of Block

Individual Nile racks can be clustered together in order to scale to multi-hundred PB configurations.


Nile is due to GA before the end of Q2.

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