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EMC Unity, Dell-EMC merger top news for EMC World attendees

LAS VEGAS -- The most interesting news for enterprise customers attending EMC World 2016 centered on Michael Dell's update on his company's pending acquisition of EMC and the introduction the EMC Unity mid-range storage system.

Randy Cochrane, lead for servers and storage at Cameco Corp., a uranium producer based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, said he is excited to see what the Dell CEO will bring to EMC in the future.

"Dell Technologies looks to be hopefully a great corporation going forward," said Cochrane. "We're sad to see Joe go, because he's been pivotal part of EMC for so many years -- and he was kind of breaking up on stage with his announcement there. And I think everybody in attendance, all 10,000 people, kind of felt that with him."

Will Carrera, a Miami-based storage and backup specialist for the Latin America division of Chubb, said customers have been wondering how Dell's acquisition of EMC will work. But Michael Dell "did a good job presenting Dell Technologies and kind of just settling everybody down as to what may or may not change," he said.

On the product front, Carrera thinks the new EMC Unity line is a "game changer" for mid-market and small organizations and large enterprises with satellite offices. He said the introduction of Unity signals "the lifecycle of VNX running its course."

Robert Conley, a senior storage administrator at Lear Corp., a global supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems based in Southfield, Michigan, said he expects to look at EMC Unity later this year as a possible replacement for his company's VNX 5000 Series. Conley said he likes the fact that the Unity array consolidates file and block storage down to a 2U device.

Another new development that Conley found interesting was "the cutover from Java to HTML5" for the user interface of product lines such as EMC Unity Unisphere and VMAX.

"It makes my job as a support technician considerably easier," said Conley.

One news item that caught the attention of Lambert Tomeldan, director of information technology for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America in Lawrence, Kansas, was the MyService 360 cloud-based dashboard that can give insight into the status and health of an EMC environment.

"I'm interested to see how that can apply to our environment," said Tomeldan. "Having a VNX, XtremIO, Data Domain and now Vblock, I would like to explore the idea of having a centralized dashboard to give us the telemetry to help us manage that environment."

Like other EMC World 2016 attendees, Tomeldan is also interested in the EMC Unity mid-range storage system.

"I like the idea of an affordable, all-flash-based storage array that can support converged and hybrid environments," said Tomeldan. "I think it's really going to give small- to medium-sized businesses an enterprise-class all-flash storage array at SMB pricing."

Tim Saville, a senior technical support specialist at The Great-West Life Assurance Company in Winnipeg, Manitoba, focused on improvements to the ProtectPoint data protection software, such as support for SQL and Exchange Server, at EMC World 2016.

"Data protection is my area, and I think it’s an extremely important and often overlooked requirement that business needs to really focus on," said Saville.

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