Storage giant EMC is launching a storage platform named ViPR that allows businesses to use low cost commodity hardware in data centres.

The company says that the EMC ViPR Controller, unveiled at EMC World 2013 on Monday, allows businesses to virtualise their underlying storage infrastructure.

It does this by decoupling the storage infrastructure (called the control plane) and the data stored within it (the data plane). Once virtualised, the control plane can be used for common management functions, such as provisioning or migrating storage for use with applications.

The EMC ViPR Controller uses existing storage infrastructures for traditional workloads. For cloud services that require scalability, it uses ViPR Object Data Services, which connects to Amazon S3 or Hadoop's HDFS API.

The controller can also integrate with OpenStack to run against enterprise or commodity hardware.

EMC is hoping that ViPR, which is designed for cloud environments and service providers, will do for storage what VMware did for servers - abstracting, pooling and automating the infrastructure.

Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President of IDC's Infrastructure Research Group, said: "Customers want to extract more value from their storage investments while scaling back on management, and ViPR meets these needs while embracing open architecture and catering to all arrays."

EMC has also announced a partnership with Brocade that will allow the networking equipment company's customers to integrate and manage its Gen 5 Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN) solutions from within ViPR using the industry standard Storage Management Initiative (SMI) interface.