by Vanessa Alvarez

At EMC World, New Steps to the Private Cloud

May 18, 2010
Data Center

What does EMC's new V-Plex technology, along with the partnership of VMware, Cisco and EMC, mean for your enterprise?

At EMC World last week, there was much buzz about the journey to the private cloud. EMC rolled out a vision of how they, along with their partners, plan to bring private cloud to the enterprise. The conference focused on demonstrating what EMC brings to the table in their partnership with Cisco. A great deal of content focused on how VMware and EMC solutions are making private cloud happen. The company’s partnership with Cisco is critical in bringing the story to the market. A number of product announcements rounded out the partnership’s joint venture, VCE to deliver an end to end solution.

What I found most interesting is the number of enterprises today that are already far along in their virtualization deployments (server and/or desktop), and are ready to take the next step in creating a private cloud environment.

Cloud computing in general, was very much on the minds of most CIOs and IT executives with whom I spoke. However, the majority had started or wanted to start with their own private environments as their long term strategy, where they can “control” a number of things, including manageability and security. Public clouds, such as Amazon or Google, are being used, but in more ad-hoc manner and for specific tasks or functions.

I’ve discussed extensively that enterprises should look to leverage both private and public cloud models, depending on specific workloads, in order to maximize the value of each. Each model has its own value, and can be leveraged for maximum capacity and performance.

VMware, Cisco and EMC have partnered together to bring the virtualization, networking, compute and storage in one solution. Together with Acadia, the services component of this partnership, the three vendors look to help their customers in transforming their IT environments to deliver more capacity, agility and resources, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

A major announcement at the conference was EMC’s introduction of V-Plex. As VMware’s vMotion has done with virtual machines (VMs), V-Plex enables vMotion over distance, allowing for “active-active” storage (I/O on both the local and remote site sides) and the ability to begin accessing storage immediately as soon as the VM appears on the host, in a matter of minutes. The needs for this can be many: natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need to have a solid backup and recovery plan in place. In other instances, efficiencies are key: perhaps when an organization is looking to keep certain data/resources in one data center for a certain period of time, but may move to another when the data is no longer needed, and can be stored.

There is much publicity around what the technology does; no need for me to get technical. However, what I do want to highlight is what this, along with the partnership of VMware, Cisco and EMC means for your business.

While the three vendors have made great strides to bring their technologies together, to make them work as seamless as possible and provide a best of breed solution, partnerships are always a tricky bet. It will be important to understand what this partnership means in terms of integration, openness, interoperability, service and support, both in the short term and long term.

All three vendors have their own services professionals, yet there is also Acadia, which has been created for the joint partnership. How does this services structure work? Who is ultimately, the “one throat to choke”? These issues must be addressed before considering this type of solution.

Many exciting technologies and business models are emerging in this market today, and enterprises have much choice. Choosing the right vendor who will guide you in your data center’s transformation is key.

Vanessa Alvarez is an Industry Analyst with Frost & Sullivan focusing on monitoring and analyzing emerging trends, technologies and market dynamics in the area of enterprise infrastructure in North America. Follow her on Twitter @VanessaAlvarez1.