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EMC acquires TwinStrata, refreshes VMAX, Isilon arrays

EMC World 2014 in May was light on product launches, as the vendor did not make any updates that were expected to its storage array platforms. Those launches came today when EMC refreshed three of its storage platforms during an even in London, bringing out its new-generation VMAX and Isilon systems and expanding its XtremIO all-flash array family.

EMC also threw in a surprise acquisition, picking up cloud storage controller vendor TwinStrata for an undisclosed price. EMC will use the technology to embed cloud access capabilities into its VMAX high-end enterprise SAN platform.

TwinStrata’s CloudArray supports public clouds such as Amazon AWS and Google Storage Cloud. It was one of a handful of startups that came out with gateways that cache hot data on-site and move older data to the cloud a few years back. Microsoft acquired TwinStata competitor StorSimple in 2012 to use as a gateway to its Windows Azure cloud.

TwinStrata, which began selling its cloud gateways in 2010, supports iSCSI block and file storage and has added cloud disaster recovery and cloud-to-cloud migration features in recent years.

Jeremy Burton, EMC president of products and marketing, described TwinStrata as “very focused on block storage” and said its technology “allows us to go from VMAX to any private cloud or the public cloud, and treat  the public cloud as another tier of storage.

Barry Ader, vice president of product management for VMAX, said EMC will continue to sell TwinStrata’s CloudArray but is most interested in using its software inside of VMAX. CloudArray is available as a physical or virtual appliance. Ader said EMC will evaluate if TwinStrata technology is a good fit for other EMC platforms but TwinStrata CEO Nicos Vekiarides and the rest of TwinStrata’s employees will become part of the VMAX team.

Other EMC product launches today include VMAX 100K, 200K and 400K arrays with integrated storage services such as data protection, Isilon S210 and X410 scale-out NAS arrays and an upgraded OneFS file system, and an XtremIO entry-level X-Brick with the addition of inline compression to the all-flash platform.

For more on the VMAX launch, click here. For more on the Isilon launch, click here. For more on XtremIo, click here.

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