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EMC today sharpened the focus on its hybrid cloud strategy with three acquisitions and a series of product and technology bundles for bridging private and public clouds.
The vendor confirmed that it acquired Cloudscaling, which helps companies build OpenStack private clouds. It also picked up cloud filer gateway startup Maginatics and cloud-to-cloud backup pioneer Spanning.
In addition, EMC launched the first of its pre-engineered hardware, software and services portfolio for its EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution.
Pieces for the cloud puzzle
Cloudscaling will become part of EMC's Emerging Technologies Division. Maginatics and Spanning join EMC's new Core Technologies Division, which combines its data protection and midrange/enterprise storage system products.
Cloudscaling's core product, Open Cloud System (OCS), supports block storage, compute and networking. OCS includes a cloud operating system, operations console and management layer.
Maginatics is the second cloud gateway vendor EMC has acquired. EMC envisions a different use case for Maginatics' product than for the unified storage cloud gateway it acquired from TwinStrata earlier this year. The Maginatics Virtual Filer's unified namespace lets customers see public and private clouds with one namespace, while TwinStrata CloudArray technology will be incorporated into VMAX storage arrays as a cloud tier.
Spanning allows customers to protect applications born in the cloud, such as Salesforce.com and Google Apps. EMC has resold Spanning products, but did not have its own cloud-to-cloud backup.
Mark Bowker, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said the acquisitions play into EMC's enterprise hybrid cloud strategy.
"At the end of the day, this is all complementary," ESG's Bowker said. "Hybrid cloud is the foundation. Its software lets IT organizations embrace both on-premises deployments and off-premises deployments and leverage virtualization. Then they can say, 'Let's look at the next-generation [cloud] deployments.'"
EMC is kicking off its hybrid cloud solutions with the EMC Federation Software-Defined Data Center Edition. It supports Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Verizon Terremark and VMware vCloud Air clouds. It can be deployed on VCE Vblock stacks or VSPEX reference architectures that include storage, compute and networking. The underlying storage can be EMC's VMAX, VNX and ExtremIO all-flash arrays.
ViPR software is the management and orchestration layer that works across on-premises and public clouds. Other components of the hybrid cloud bundles include EMC's Data Domain, VPLEX, Avamar and Recover Point for data protection.
EMC claims the end-to-end deployment for this hybrid cloud is approximately five weeks.
"Think of this as hybrid cloud-ready," said Subbu Iyer, EMC's senior vice president of global product marketing. "It comes with seamless integration to public cloud workloads."
EMC is offering configurations that support 500, 5,000 or 10,000 virtual machines. The bundles can be integrated by EMC partners or preloaded at the factory level.
Microsoft and OpenStack versions are planned for 2015.
"They are trying to work with customers that are either confused or using 100% multiple cloud consumption models," Bowker said. "Today they are focused on EMC and VMware. I'm sure they will add services from [EMC-owned] RSA and Pivotal."
The bundles include services to help customers determine which workloads and applications are suited for particular private or public clouds.
"The question is not public or private. The answer is hybrid. So how can we determine what goes where?" said Bharat Badrinath, EMC's senior director of global solutions marketing. "Cloud is not just a technology. It's a different way to consume and deliver services. You always hear people use cost as the only criteria, but there are other considerations."
Badrinath hinted that TwinStrata technology will eventually be integrated into the cloud bundles. EMC acquired TwinStrata primarily for VMAX enterprise arrays but left the door open to using it with its other storage platforms.
"Stay tuned on that space," Badrinath said. "The integration will take time but you will see us make an announcement on tiering."
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