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Cloud, virtualization take front seats in EMC storage debuts

Stephen Lawson | May 8, 2014
EMC's introductions this week of its Elastic Cloud Storage Appliance (ECS) and of ViPR 2.0, the latest generation of its enterprise storage virtualization software, are two sides of the same coin.

The major market for ViPR and ECS will be service providers who want to become the next Amazon Web Services, said IDC analyst Ashish Nadkarni. The biggest threat will come from OpenStack, and the "do-it-yourself culture" around Linux and other open-source tools, Nadkarni said. While OpenStack gives EMC the means to make ViPR work with many more third-party systems, through Cinder, it also gives enterprises and would-be service providers the means to accomplish much of what ViPR promises, he said.

This two announcements this week highlight EMC's increasing focus on software, cloud computing and a whole range of related EMC technologies rather than on hardware to differentiate the company. Another was Project Liberty, a demonstration of the company's VNX hybrid array implemented as pure software to run in clouds or other locations. EMC plans to try the same thing with its Isilon OneFS Operating System for network-attached storage, and with its data protection appliances, said Dave Goulden, CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure.

"EMC is actually a software company," Goulden said on Tuesday. Out of more than 10,000 engineers working for the company, only a few hundred work on hardware, he said. EMC still packages software in storage appliances, but it's now offering alternatives to that, too, he said. "When you think of storage, the value actually is in the software."

 

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