On the first day of EMC World in Las Vegas, the storage infrastructure giant has announced updates across its entire product portfolio - from traditional VMAX storage servers to the Data Domain backup appliances to new, exciting products like XtremIO all-flash arrays.

There was also a hyper-converged infrastructure announcement from VCE – formerly a joint venture with Cisco, now almost entirely owned by EMC.

The event brings together delegates from 99 countries under a new, cryptic theme: if last year, EMC wanted to ‘redefine’ your infrastructure, this time it wants to ’redefine next’. Whatever that means.

Besides the announcements, the first day saw EMC executives attempting to blow up an XtremIO array, shortly before a fifth-grader was tasked with provisioning storage on stage.

Redefine with a vengeance

According to EMC, by 2020 humanity will have produced 44 zettabytes of data – and all of this data will need to be stored in the data center. “We are all part of information generation,” said CEO David Goulden.

He went on to explain how new generation technologies were enabling businesses to do more with their data. Among trends most important to business leaders, two were standing out: predicting new opportunities and innovating in an agile way.

Goulden said EMC could help achieve both through its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud model – built with ‘federation’ components from its siblings VMware, RSA and Pivotal, and providing an on-ramp to the public cloud.

Converged infrastructure play VCE is a recent addition to the EMC roster, but it has been advancing in leaps and bounds. Until now, VCE technology was only available in VBlocks or VxBlocks– full-size cabinets that include all the ingredients for a modern server farm.

“We believe there’s a requirement for a new class of truly scale-out data center hyper-converged systems,” said Goulden. “So today, we are proud to announce the VxRack family.”

These new components are available in a 2U form-factor and come in compute-intensive or storage-intensive varieties. They can scale up to 1,000 nodes and potentially deliver up to 240,000,000 IOPS.

Next, it was turn for XtremIO 4.0, known internally as “The Beast”. Launched just 18 months ago, this family of high-performance all-flash arrays is well on the way to become a $1 billion product.

EMC has announced a new version of the XtremIO software, which will be pushed out to the previous generation arrays free of charge. The company has also launched a 40TB X-Brick, instantly doubling the maximum capacity of the arrays.

Meanwhile, updates to VMAX3 software promise to simplify management of complex storage environments that include third-party appliances and connect to the public cloud. To prove just how simple it has become, EMC brought a real fifth-grader on stage, who then managed to provision a storage tier in 21 seconds.

Finally, EMC has introduced a new flagship DataDomain appliance for backup and archiving – the DD9500. “This replaces the existing DataDomain 990. Very simply, think about it as 2X everything – 2X capacity, 2X ingest rates, and essentially the same price,” said Goulden.

All of these additions are looking to prove a point: EMC wants to be on the cutting edge of infrastructure development, catering to the DevOps movement and the hyperscale crowd. “This is not your father’s EMC,” concluded the CEO.