EMC Advances Modern Data Center Agenda

    EMC this week, at what is likely to be the last EMC World conference, unveiled a bevy of offerings that include the Unity line of storage arrays aimed at the midmarket as well as an instance of its VxRack System that comes with OpenStack Neutrino Nodes for networking.

    EMC plans to bundle its own distribution of OpenStack on the VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes as well as the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment, Apache Hadoop and the VMware Photon Platform for running containers.

    While EMC, and for that matter Dell, already have multiple lines of storage offerings, Jeremy Burton, president of products and marketing for EMC, says EMC saw the need for a Flash storage platform that specifically addresses the midmarket. This is part of a larger strategy to deliver the “right horse for the right cost” versus trying to force all customers to adopt a single storage platform. The new Unity series, for example, comes in a 2u form factor that includes an all-Flash model is priced starting at under $18,000.

    Other new infrastructure offerings launched this week include an update to the ViPR Controller that now enables it to manage third-party storage systems via a software development kit (SDK) that EMC is making available. There was also an update to the DSSD all-Flash rack systems that allows IT organizations to stripe two of these storage systems together.

    In terms of software, EMC this week unveiled EMC Copy Data Management tools that make it easier to identify redundant data stored on multiple systems, an update to its archiving software that provides more granular control of data, and a suite of Leap applications designed to make it easier to manage content across a specific workflow.

    On the service front, EMC this week added a dedicated storage cloud to the Virtustream public cloud while also unfurling an EMC MyService 360 offering through which EMC customers can monitor EMC equipment in their data centers for free.

    While the merger with Dell is scheduled to occur this summer, EMC is clearly plowing ahead on new product development. In general, it may be well into 2017 before the newly christened Dell Technologies entity sorts out which products from both companies will ultimately make up the core of its lineup. In the meantime, Burton says customers should expect the combined entity to focus mainly on providing a platform for modern data centers that will be cloud-enabled and employ Flash storage in the context of a scale-out architecture that is defined by software.

    Dell, of course, has pledged to support all the products in the combined line-up. But as most IT organizations know, there is a world of difference between pledging to support something versus actively continuing to invest in ongoing research and development. While Dell Technologies has not revealed specific R&D plans just yet, EMC this week certainly provided more than a glimpse into where that combined entity plans to focus next.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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