Two of the most significant announcements at EMC World 2016 were the Virtustream Storage Cloud and new EMC Unity mid-range storage array, according to Randy Kerns, a senior strategist and analyst at Evaluator Group.
Kerns said EMC previously provided customers with the ability to tier to the cloud through products such as Data Domain and Isilon. With Virtustream, customers will be able to send data to EMC's own storage cloud.
"Quite the soup-to-nuts implementation if you will for data protection or cloud tiering," said Kerns.
The newly launched EMC Unity line of mid-range storage systems effectively replaces EMC's VNX line, according to Kerns. He said the Unity array makes use of technologies that EMC developed for VNX to create a multi-core processor environment with an underlying operating system that facilitates file access and block access with storage cloud systems.
"Previously when you wanted to do the file-based functions with the VNX, you had to add more cards," said Kerns.
He said EMC Unity will help to drive down the price point and "re-energize that segment of their product line."
Kerns doesn't think VNX customers should be overly concerned. He said VNX's scale-up architecture has always meant that customers would keep the product only for a period of time and then migrate to a new one. A migration to EMC Unity should give users the same feature set, since Unity is based on the original VNX, he said.
Once Dell's acquisition of EMC closes, the new Unity storage arrays have the potential to compete against Dell's SC storage line, which resulted from its acquisition of Compellent.
"There's always this feeling from some people that, 'Oh, you can only have one particular product in a category.' EMC really has never suffered from that, and they've had multiple overlapping products," said Kerns. "And that's really actually a good thing if you can afford to do it."
Kerns said revenue and success will determine whether the fused Dell-EMC company will be able to support both mid-range storage product lines.
"If they become more concerned about their expenditures and R and D and investment -- and normally that's a percentage of revenue -- that might be an area that they trim and say 'OK, we're going to centralize this and bring these together for one common solution over time,' " said Kerns.