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EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, developer platform get updates

EMC releases a new version of its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and discloses a September GA date for its Native Hybrid Cloud, which adds a new VCE VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure option.

EMC today launched an update to its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and disclosed a September general availability date for Native Hybrid Cloud, with a new option for VCE VxRail hyper-converged appliances.

EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 4.0 expands multisite support from two to four data centers and four instances of VMware vCenter. The updated product also offers more granular levels of data protection and gives customers the ability to add or remove virtual machine (VM) encryption at any time.

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud aims to package all of the pretested and integrated hardware, software and services that an organization would need to run traditional applications, such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Exchange Server.

By contrast, EMC's Native Hybrid Cloud "turnkey developer platform" takes aim at applications built specifically for the cloud. Those cloud-native applications tend to be API-based, always on, highly scalable and often changing, noted Kevin Gray, senior manager of product marketing for EMC's emerging technologies division.

Native Hybrid Cloud aims to accelerate the development and deployment of cloud applications. The product features EMC's Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform as a service for building, deploying and scaling applications running on top of on-premises, self-run infrastructure options and off-premises, managed infrastructure options.

EMC made available Native Hybrid Cloud in limited fashion earlier this year for use with OpenStack cloud software running on the hyper-converged VCE VxRack System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes. When the OpenStack option becomes generally available next month, EMC plans to add a VMware vSphere-based option built on VCE VxRail 200, with a choice of hybrid or flash storage.

Gray said the new VxRail offering would give customers the ability to start small, with up to 50 application instances, and scale up or scale out as they go. He said the average number of application instances with Pivotal is 300 -- although, the number can soar to thousands.

Due next year is an on-premises infrastructure option for the container-based VMware Photon Platform on VxRack with Neutrino. Also due in 2017 is an off-premises cloud infrastructure option with EMC Virtustream, according to Gray. Until then, customers could go with VMware vCloud Air, Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, thanks to Pivotal Cloud Foundry's support for those cloud services.

Gray said, once the infrastructure is in place, developers should be able to deliver applications in days, rather than weeks or months. Pivotal's self-service marketplace also offers capabilities such as application performance management, chargeback reporting, and data and business analytics. Gray said EMC is also adding monitoring and reporting technology.

Dan Conde, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., in Milford, Mass., said large companies are most likely to see a need for Native Hybrid Cloud, but he doesn't envision the entire IT organization "morphing to become app-centric."

"Those who are managing and operating traditional apps are looking at managing in the traditional manner. They don't necessarily need a hybrid cloud system," Conde said. "But, then, there is a portion of the company that needs to be agile because they're developing cloud applications. They're the ones who are gravitating to Pivotal."

EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud infrastructure

It's not just about providing a virtual machine or the networking and storage. It's putting in things like data protection policies and encryption services so that you have the protection and security you expect from a cloud platform.
Kevin Graysenior manager of product marketing, emerging technologies division, EMC

The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud product for traditional applications starts with converged VCE VxBlock and hyper-converged VxRack infrastructure options. The virtualization layer on top of that includes ViPR storage virtualization, VMware vSphere server virtualization and NSX network virtualization.

VMware's vRealize management suite runs above the virtualization layer in the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, providing services such as monitoring and reporting, self-service and automation, and chargeback and other mechanisms for financial transparency. EMC plans to add support for updated vRealize Automation software, as well as new application and infrastructure workloads, later this year. On top of vRealize are self-service catalogs for the delivery of IT as a service.

"It's not just about providing a virtual machine or the networking and storage. It's putting in things like data protection policies and encryption services so that you have the protection and security you expect from a cloud platform," Gray said.

EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud can also broker services out to the cloud. The product supports EMC cloud service providers, VMware vCloud Air and Amazon Web Services.

EMC data protection updates

Earlier this week, EMC announced data protection updates for VMware. VCE VxRail customers can expand beyond the product's built-in protection to use EMC's Data Protection Suite for VMs and Data Domain Virtual Edition.

EMC added support for VMware vSphere APIs for I/O filtering with its RecoverPoint for VMs software to enable continuous replication. Peter Smails, vice president of product marketing for EMC's core technologies division, said the integration would be significant for organizations that rely on endorsed replication for mission-critical applications.

"When you're doing replication, a lot of what you're doing is intercepting I/Os and redirecting I/Os, and replicating to multiple locations," Smails said. "We've done the integration work. It's available. And we're the only vendor that can make that claim."

EMC also noted plans at next week's VMworld to demonstrate VMware integration with its primary storage arrays, including the Unity midrange array launched in May at EMC World and the XtremIO all-flash array. The company made available a free community edition of the EMC Unity virtual storage appliance for testing and development. UnityVSA can be deployed in a VMware vSphere environment, according to EMC.

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