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This content is part of the Conference Coverage: EMC World 2015 conference coverage

EMC offers Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 3.0

EMC said the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud upgrade tightens integration with VMware and enables customers to stand up hybrid cloud in less than one month.

LAS VEGAS -- Amid the pomp of its all-flash platform expansion and new hyper-converged storage hardware, EMC  Federation this week quietly rolled out version 3 of Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud for companies that want to dip their toes in the cloud.

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 3.0 rolled out Tuesday at EMC World 2015. It features tighter factory integration of the VMware software stack on EMC storage hardware. The product uses EMC ViPR storage management software to virtualize storage on any EMC array.

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud integrates VMware Application Services and software modules from open source developer Puppet Labs. EMC said the combination will help customers add virtual applications delivered with on-premises cloud storage.

"These are hybrid clouds that are enterprise-ready. Everything is designed to snap together just like Lego blocks," said Daanish Ahmad, an EMC manager of cloud solutions marketing.

EMC introduced Enterprise Hybrid Cloud at EMC World in 2014, using a showroom floor demonstration to stand up a hybrid cloud in 48 hours. The upgrade to 3.0 is designed to enable customers to implement hybrid on-premises cloud storage in about 28 days.

EMC wrote a series of workload codes to expose virtualization services through VMware vRealize Orchestrator, Ahmad said. VMware's NSX network virtualization software directly connects to VMware's vCloud public cloud platform, although Ahmad said Enterprise Hybrid Cloud enables customers to provision storage with Amazon Web Services as well.

The 3.0 rollout also marks EMC's integration of the CloudLink cloud security technology it acquired in August. CloudLink technology provides a policy engine for encrypting data directly on individual virtual machines or as a group.

Energy firm embraces hybrid cloud

Energy Future Holdings, an energy company in Dallas, implemented Enterprise Hybrid Cloud with EMC Vblock arrays at the start of 2015. Paul Reyes, the company's vice president of infrastructure management and operations, said the move was made to virtualize storage and retire legacy systems.

"In 2009, we had 1,200 physical servers and about 100 virtual servers. We had 52 disparate storage devices and none of them talked to each other. The first four years were wrapped around standardizing. Cloud storage wasn't in the picture until 2014. That's when we started to look at EMC's Enterprise Hybrid Cloud so we could focus on making our internal services as flexible as storage with Amazon Web Services," Reyes said.

Reyes said his company runs about 3,000 virtual machines on Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 2.5 and has consolidated from three data centers to one primary data center and one colocation facility. He said he moved to a cloud model to provide internal services to his business units. He said by the end of 2015 he expects to offer server provisioning as a service, with application provisioning as a service coming in 2016.

Reyes said he expects to save more than $50 million over the next five years by reducing costs such as IT contractors, hardware and software maintenance and product refreshes.

EMC's competing cloud

Greg Schulz, senior analyst with The Server and Storage IO Group, said Enterprise Hybrid Cloud didn't get much fanfare because it distracts from EMC's high-end Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) hyperscale technology. But the announcement signals the company's interest in open source technologies.

"The reason you didn't hear much about Enterprise Hybrid Cloud is because it steps on EMC's larger messaging about ECS, which is a big part of their strategy. But if you step back and look at what EMC has announced, it's significant that they are adding a way for customers who are new to cloud storage to start out small and scale over time," Schulz said.

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What open source storage technology would you like to see EMC support?
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EMC is in an interesting place when it comes to open source storage. With Ceph and Gluster increasingly gaining traction and being associated with Red Hat (via the Inktank acquisition), EMC seems to be looking for a play. That VIPR stuff they released isn't going to cut it long term, in my opinion, so I don't know what they'll ultimately do. They keep bitching about Ceph in their blogs, which isn't a strategy either.
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