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EMC cloud storage options for VMAX, VNX, Data Domain expanded

EMC cloud storage options for its block storage and data protection products are added through enhancements to FAST.X, Vplex, CloudBoost and broader public cloud support.

EMC Corp. today introduced a series of enhancements to its block storage and data protection products that make it easier to move data to public and private clouds.

The added EMC cloud storage options involve EMC's VMAX enterprise arrays, VNX midrange unified storage, Vplex application migration software, Data Domain disk backup and CloudBoost data protection software.

Christopher Ratcliffe, senior vice president of marketing for EMC's core technologies group, said EMC wants to treat EMC cloud storage as Apple uses its iCloud -- as a tier with built-in access from any of the vendor's storage products.

"We're looking at how we can simplify and automate primary storage and protect data regardless of where it resides -- the data center, laptop or in the cloud," he said. "We're in the same camp as Apple. Apple views the iCloud as just another form of media. And for us, the cloud is just another storage medium. It's no different than putting applications onto 7,200 RPM drives or solid-state drives. You shouldn't have to implement new processes to use the cloud. It should just be another choice."

The enhancements include:

  • The ability to use VMAX's FAST.X automated tiering to move data to the cloud. By connecting VMAX to an EMC CloudArray gateway -- based on technology acquired from TwinStrata in 2014 -- and a network switch, customers can tier data to public clouds. FAST.X also now supports storage from rival vendors NetApp, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Hitachi Data Systems.
  • VNX arrays can use Vplex to move data to Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, VMware vCloud Air, and Google Cloud.
  • Improved capacity management, secure multi-tenancy and 4 TB capacity drives for Data Domain appliances. The new features are designed for service providers and enterprise customers who want to offer data protection as a service.
  • Upgraded CloudBoost, which is based on technology acquired from Maginatics in 2014. CloudBoost connects EMC backup products to cloud storage. CloudBoost 2.0 is three times faster and moves 15 times the capacity (6 TB) into the cloud as the original version launched in May.

These new features follow the addition of CloudPools to EMC's Isilon scale-out NAS platform last week, allowing the movement of unstructured data to the cloud without a gateway.

While none of the additions are major, Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Mark Peters said as a group they show that EMC is moving beyond talking about the cloud to making it a real option.

"With all of this cloud integration, EMC is making it easier to use the cloud and they're making it integrated," Peters said. "It's no longer, 'You can link to the cloud, it's over there. There's the road to it.' You don't need the road now, it's connected. You don't have to tell people where to go. They're not pointing to it, they're embracing it."

Peters compared EMC's cloud storage strategy to NetApp's Data Fabric and Cloud OnTap products that facilitate hybrid clouds, and said he expects all major vendors to move in similar directions. "This will all be table stakes eventually," he said. "We will get to the point where, if you can't do what EMC is doing now, you shouldn't be in enterprise storage.

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