Data is growing at an exponential rate. The traditional siloed methods of managing and delivering storage cannot sustain this explosive data growth, as the associated operational costs will continue to rise at prohibitive rates. At the same time, public clouds have shown that by standardizing and virtualizing their infrastructure, it is possible to simplify, automate, and achieve extreme operational economics. While public clouds do solve some customer pain points, they introduce new constraints, such as requiring customers to move their data off-premises and forcing them to use “one-size fits all” for all their data storage needs.Given the transformations occurring in our industry, we asked enterprise customers what they wanted from their storage solutions, and a common set of concerns quickly came to the forefront. Customers want to lower their operational costs — especially in the presence of massive data growth — and they want to run their complex environments efficiently, without giving up their choice of IT infrastructure, the one that they believe best meets their business needs.Enterprise customers are also clear that they want to attain the economics of public cloud infrastructure without public cloud constraints. As a result of these customer conversations, the need for EMC ViPR became increasingly obvious.As the leader in the storage industry, we realized that we had to reexamine the way we manage and deliver storage in multi-vendor environments that consist of commodity and specialized storage arrays with both traditional and new interfaces. There are important lessons to be learned from the public cloud. I experienced them first-hand while building and running Microsoft Azure. To solve the hard storage problems and to remove the imposed public cloud constraints, we need to push the boundaries of innovation. Only then can we address the immediate problems that our customers are facing today, while simultaneously laying a foundation that will provide customers a path to a future with no compromises.ViPR’s design brings together what we heard from our customers and the lessons learned from the public cloud. EMC ViPR is our solution to what customers requested and — even more importantly — it lays the groundwork for the future. Being built as an open platform, ViPR allows others to innovate and enables us to work together as a community to fundamentally redefine how storage should be managed and delivered. As part of this community, we invite you to begin your software-defined storage journey by creating your own personal experience at ViPR Central.