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EMC Virtustream announcement 'significant' says Forrester VP

EMC's cloud strategy expanded in a significant way this week with the introduction of the EMC Virtustream Storage Cloud, according to Glenn O'Donnell, a vice president and research director at Forrester Research.

Customers will be able to move data from EMC storage to the Virtustream Storage Cloud for long-term storage. The EMC Virtustream Storage Cloud uses EMC's object-based Elastic Cloud Storage. EMC bought Virtustream in May 2015 for $1.2 billion.

"The Virtustream cloud storage announcement, I think, is pretty significant," said O'Donnell. "The way they're tying it in with some of their other products makes a lot of sense. We still need to see some of the details, but it looks like a pretty decent story."

O'Donnell said it will be a "pretty good deal" for EMC storage users to be able to seamlessly move data to the EMC Virtustream public cloud service. "It's not the same scale as an AWS [Amazon Web Services] and maybe won't ever be. But there again, that remains to be seen," he said.

"Really the big story these days around cloud is how do I get my systems of record into the cloud -- the stuff that is not cloud native. And that is one of the reasons that they acquired Virtustream," said O'Donnell. "And that's a big push for 2016. We're hearing it from a lot of our clients. So, anything they can do to drive that is going to be a win for the customers."

O'Donnell said the EMC Virtustream Storage Cloud signals "a better strategy than we've heard before" from EMC and Dell. But much is yet to be determined.

"Once we see the two companies as they do come together, there will be more to talk about. There's going to be some rationalization of products around automation and cloud management that are going to be necessary," he said. "A lot of that stuff has to get hidden behind the scenes…If they can hide that complexity from the customers and make it work in a seamless way, that's what the world needs."

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What do you think about EMC's Virtustream Storage Cloud announcement?
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It will be interesting to see how creative that EMC will get with licensing/pricing/bundling of Virtustream storage and EMC's on-premises arrays. I expect to see them make announcements around "Snowball" type functionality, as well as partnerships with companies like Equinix for Direct-Connect type of functionality. 
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