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Redefining Possibilities

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At EMC Forum 2014, EMC announced that it had acquired TwinStrata. The company also provided details of several new products that will help its customers redefine the possibilities in hybrid cloud environments.

The EMC Forum 2014 had everything going to raise the expectations of the participants. The forum was held in Seoul’s COEX Convention Center. This was a big moment for the EMC-Korea,  as the storage giant  was making announcements in the region at the same time when it was holding a global event called the ‘EMC Mega Launch’ in London, where several new products were being launched.

The forum at Seoul was attended by over 4,500 technicians, developers and officials from 28 partners. Traditionally EMC holds the Mega Launch event specifically for the markets that they serve.

David Webster, President Asia Pacific and Japan at EMC, explained that since Korea is strategically important and is one of the largest markets, they were holding the EMC Forum in Seoul in parallel with the Mega Launch in London.

It wasn’t surprising  at all to hear the company talk about the journey to hybrid cloud as EMC’s cloud focus is obvious and has been evident for a while now. Last year, EMC had acquired Adaptivity that provides solutions for accelerating enterprise Cloud transformations.

Adaptivity’s (now a part of EMC) SaaS-based solutions provide intelligent cloud decision that determines cloud suitability for each application, cloud selection (public, private, managed or hybrid), including required capacity, and the most efficient migration path for each application. So what kept everyone on the edge at the forum in Seoul was the prospect of having new announcements.

The big news at the forum was the company’s decision to invest in the storage  management company TwinStrata. EMC had long been trying to take on Amazon Web Services, its biggest competitors in the market, and the only way to do it was to strengthen the cloud capabilities.

Big Announcements
This deal with TwinStrata, which is known for selling a data centre appliance called CloudArray that securely connects to cloud storage services to perform off site data replications instantaneously, is expected to help it do so. The company, however, did not disclose the financial terms of the crucial deal.

Besides, the company also announced several new products for its Flash, enterprise storage and Scale-Out NAS portfolios.

Among them was XtremIO 3.0, which offers new features and configurations, ecosystem integrations, and business programs for EMC XtremIO all-flash arrays. The company claimed the updated version offers more scale, capabilities, and support for consolidated, virtualised, and performance-hungry workloads.

Another addition is the VMAX3 Family, which transforms VMAX from enterprise storage to an enterprise data service platform. The platform enables customers to regain control of where best to run specific workloads, within the data center or in the public cloud. VMAX3 is being touted as the foundation for hybrid cloud as it looks to deliver storage-as-a-service. EMC also unveiled an upgrade to EMC Isilon.
The new updates will deliver the industry’s first enterprise-grade, scale-out Data Lake, enabling next-generation workloads such as Hadoop analytics, cloud and mobile.

Getting strategy right
On the subject of the metamorphosis that IT industry is undergoing, Webster pointed that today’s business challenge  is to cut operational cost and legacy systems. The enterprises need to react faster to find growth and balance risks. However, the new IT agenda is clearly to provide access to all applications and data through mobile devices.

“To help them (enterprises), we have worked with our subsidiaries VMware and Pivotal to come out with more choices for services, including software-defined data centres, service-centric platforms, hybrid cloud computing systems, big data analysis and data security, all of which are tailor-made for the next-generation platform environment.”

“In the first phase of of hybrid cloud adoption, we are working with the enterprises to turn the existing data centres ready for hybrid cloud and in the second phase we are working with the service providers to deliver the public piece of the hybrid cloud. We also partner with private cloud players to deliver hybrid offering,” he said.

He believed that this strategy is working well in every geography they operate in, including India, which is a critical market for the company. According to him, Indian contribution to the company’s business was about 22% in 2013. “APJ strategy seems to be gaining traction. Though Australia and New Zealand are high penetration areas for cloud, we are closely watching cloud adoption in India and other Southeast Asian countries,” he said.

Brain Gallagher, President, Enterprise & Mid Range Systems Division, EMC, said, “Fundamental technology has now changed, our strategy is to give customer a choice and not force him to buy just any stack.”

Emergence of Flash storage is another important aspect of  the change in IT. As per industry reports,almost 3% of enterprise storage will comprise of Flash by 2017. At the event, EMC reiterated its commitment to Flash.

“Our Flash array business is rapidly growing. We are now selling some part of Flash in all our arrays, pretty much to all our customers, The new entry point XtremeIO open up opportunity for us in every segment. We are therefore very excited about the new products,” Webster concluded.

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