PowerPath/VE – Improved Multipathing for VMware

In the process of working on a somewhat large storage and virtualization project this week we came across some questions about EMC PowerPath for VMware or PowerPath/VE.  I wasn’t really that familiar with the new product which was just released at the end of April so I had to get my learn on!  Here is brief overview of the features and benefits I see as most relevant.

What’s it do?

PowerPath/VE is a multi-pathing software that enables you both typical failover multi-pathing and more importantly now, load balancing multi-pathing.  From an VMware standpoint in the past only failover was really an option.  Now with PowerPath/VE applications in virtual environments can significantly increase their throughput via this I/O load-balancing.  In cases where critical tier 1 apps (Exchange, SQL…) have been virtualized this will mean noticeable performance increases.

Benefits and Features

Aside from the obvious performance improvements of load-balancing there are additional benefits.

–          Simplified, single management of physical and virtual environments

–          More predictable performance

–          Automated failover

–          Auto detect and restore of problem paths

–          Support for clustered environments

With the increased power and processing capacity of new hardware and capacity for higher and higher consolidation ratios from products like VMware vSphere I/O is a critical concern.  Customers are constantly looking to get more performance out of less resources and PowerPath/VE helps to that end.


As with every new and cool technology the question comes up, “That’s sound great but what does it cost?”, so not to disappoint here you have it:

These are MSRP prices so see your EMC reseller for more accurate pricing.

Model Description List Price
457-100-182 PowerPath/VE, Std. X86 T1 (2–7 CPUs) [for vSphere] $2,100/CPU
457-100-183 PowerPath/VE, Std. X86 T2 (8+ CPUs) [for vSphere] $1,935/CPU
457-100-186 PowerPath/VE, Add-on X86 T1 (2–7 CPUs) [for vSphere] $1,430/CPU
457-100-187 PowerPath/VE, Add-on X86 T2 (8+ CPUs) [for vSphere] $1,315/CPU

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