State of the hybrid cloud: Report from EMC World 2014

State of the hybrid cloud: Report from EMC World 2014

The message last week at EMC World 2014 was loud and clear: The mega trends of mobile, social, cloud, and big data have organizations of all sizes, in every industry, racing to develop next-generation applications and better leverage big data analytics to redefine their overall enterprise and IT strategies.

The culmination of these mega trends and the opportunities and threats they introduce across all industries is what’s being called the Third Platform of IT.

It starts with new mobile applications that emerge daily, changing the way organizations interact and transact. These applications support more users and generate more information than their predecessors, leading organizations to redefine themselves with software, and transform data centers into fully virtualized and automated private clouds. At the same time, they’re also running certain applications in a public cloud.

Tasked with providing more strategic value to their organizations’ bottom lines than ever before, IT is seeking ways to become more efficient, agile, and cost-effective, meaning this hybrid cloud is where almost all applications will eventually live.

Suggesting a significant move toward adoption of a hybrid cloud model, the Economist Intelligence Unit published a report that found 63 percent of business executives plan to increase reliance on corporate IT to deliver both internal and external IT resources.

The announcements coming out of EMC World further support the prevalence of these themes and the movement toward hybrid cloud solutions. Here’s a recap of some of the big ones.

1. The VNX family grows. Last week EMC introduced new products and capabilities to the VNX family of hybrid storage solutions, including the new VNXe3200, a simple yet efficient array that supports three times the number of virtual machines as the previous generation VNXe in the same small footprint. VNXe3200 reduces the barrier to entry, bringing enterprise-class functionality, such as fibre connectivity and storage tiering, to a greater range of customers.

2. ECS Appliance fulfills a hybrid cloud promise. Last year, during EMC World 2013, EMC gave attendees a glimpse into the future of hybrid cloud storage with the introduction of Project Nile. Last week EMC made this promise a reality with the official launch of the new EMC ECS Appliance, the world’s first commercially available complete hyperscale storage infrastructure for the data center. The ECS Appliance delivers the ease-of-use, agility, and cost benefits of a public cloud, with the control and security of an on-premises private cloud. And it offers up to 28 percent lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than public cloud alternatives.

3. ViPR takes a bite out of the storage space. EMC also revealed ViPR 2.0, a new ViPR software-defined storage platform that standardizes and automates the storage infrastructure, dramatically simplifying management with new data services to underpin next-generation applications and big data analytics. It also supports more storage arrays. ViPR ties into higher-level management and orchestration tools from VMware, OpenStack, and Microsoft so storage can integrate with broader data center workflows. It also provides support for commodity drives and additional third-party arrays through OpenStack. This feature is spot on, as many of our customers want cloud solutions that leverage their existing environments.

4. Promising acquisition sets the stage for future advances. EMC announced that it acquired flash start-up DSSD, the developer of a new rack-scale flash storage architecture for I/O-intensive in-memory databases and big data workloads like SAP HANA and Hadoop. EMC doesn’t expect DSSD will have a product generally available until 2015. CEO Joe Tucci described DSSD as a “game-changing technology,” and Bill McDermott, the CEO of SAP, gave the acquisition a solid endorsement.

5. Building a hybrid cloud bridge. On day two of EMC World, the big news was the announcement of the EMC Hybrid Cloud solution, designed to enable IT organizations to extract the most value from private and public clouds. In a blog post discussing the solution, Josh Kahn, Vice President, Solutions Marketing at EMC, explained that the EMC Hybrid Cloud solution “is built on the foundation that EMC and VMware established over the years to efficiently virtualize all aspects of the data center.” Simply put, “EMC Hybrid Cloud is the bridge between traditional applications and next-generation applications, all deployable across a common software-defined architecture.”

6. Making a million-dollar bet. EMC also used EMC World to make a friendly bet with customers of its all-flash XtremIO storage array. XtremeIO is designed to extract the highest performance of applications, databases, and hypervisors on the same application servers — a key component of software-defined storage. In a bold statement of confidence in the solution, EMC announced the XtremIO $1 Million Guarantee — a pledge of a cool U.S. $1 million to the first XtremIO customer whose deduplication shuts off or experiences system-level garbage collection. In a blog post about the challenge, CJ Desai, President, EMC Emerging Technologies Products Division, said, “We are throwing down the gauntlet because we believe no other enterprise flash storage vendor has an all-flash array designed to live up to the task.” Clearly EMC seems to be a safe bet when performance matters most.

As one of the initial VMware vCHS partners, SHI is well-versed in bringing hybrid solutions to our customers. Our philosophy is to help organizations build and manage best-of-breed private clouds while leveraging off-premises solutions when and how they want to. Accordingly, we feel very much aligned with these new announcements, and are excited to partner with EMC and the entire federation of companies, including VMware, RSA, and Pivotal, as they work to deliver these advanced solutions to customers.