Making a touchdown in the Middle East for the first time, storage major EMC’s Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci is among the tech bigwigs to reiterate their commitment to the Middle East, in spite of the market downturn. It’s also a time of co-opetition for the company that expects to build strong relationships with players like Microsoft that also compete with it in the virtualisation domain. “It’s fine as long as we know the rules,” Tucci said.
Although Tucci agrees that storage hardware buying is set to take a dip this year, he maintains that organisations and EMC customers were continuing to look for solutions and ways to manage their data that is still growing at 40%.
EMC’s answer to the market is to place its bets firmly the promise of virtualisation and supporting storage architecture. Interestingly, the vendor is also working to integrate as much of its acquired technologies including VMware and RSA to offer customers an integrated solution by default rather than as an option.
“Customers today are looking to manage their data by adopting integrated solution that offer both scale-up and scale-out, more data management capabilities, automation and on-demand models. What we want to do is take the dilemma of having to choose between one approach and the other away from the table and offer them solutions that will do both, based on their requirement,” he said.
The Middle East in particular has been among the fastest growing markets for the company and moving ahead, EMC is committing to stronger investments in the region to support its partners with proof-of-concept labs and centres of excellence.
“We’ve got three major announcements this month. One with VMware set to announce the next stage of its data centre OS, SourceOne archiving solutions and now with the launch of V-Max Storage System, EMC is looking ahead at strong business opportunity,” he said.
“EMC currently is reaching out to the market to support four major areas – enabling x86 virtualisation (through VMware), storage, content management through Documentum and identity protection through the RSA portfolio. We expect to see a lot more consolidation this year and as a company we will continue to look out for good acquisition opportunities,” he added.
Sharing the roadmap for its most recent launch – V-Max Storage System, EMC claims that this is new breakthrough approach to high-end data storage with an innovative new architecture purpose-built to support virtual data centers. The first storage system to be launched based on this architecture, Tucci said it will serve as a cornerstone of virtual computing infrastructures that are transforming the technology landscape.
The new EMC Virtual Matrix Architecture integrates industry-standard components with EMC Symmetrix capabilities to deliver scalability – enabling systems that scale to hundreds of thousands of terabytes of storage and tens of millions of IOPS (input/output per second) supporting VMware and other virtual machines in a single federated storage infrastructure.
“The shift from physical to virtual computing is being driven by efficiency gains too compelling to ignore. Virtualisation’s ability to maximise resources and automate complex and repetitive manual tasks is a game changing technology and we anticipate that some of the world’s first virtual data centers will be built here in the Middle East region, where there is still growing demand for virtualisation solutions.” EMC has also said that close to 30 customers have invested in the V-Max solution and one of them is from the Middle East.
“This announcement emphasises EMC’s commitment to bring value to the constantly expanding region. The business benefits that this new technology will provide is testament to the strategic nature of how EMC is making storage simpler, better performing, and more energy and cost-efficient,” said Mohammed Amin, regional manager, Middle East, North West Africa & Turkey, EMC.
Combined with the latest generation Enterprise Flash, Fibre Channel and SATA drives, the Symmetrix V-Max system allows users to cost effectively meet the widest range of storage requirements for high performance and high capacity in a single system.
In tiered storage environments, Symmetrix V-Max systems will enable data to be non-disruptively relocated to different storage tiers and RAID protections, including ultra- high performing Enterprise Flash Drives, traditional Fibre Channel disk drives and high-capacity SATA disk drives based on business requirements.
EMC also announced Fully Automated Storage Tiering (“FAST”), its automation technology. Leveraging the Virtual Matrix Architecture’s data relocation capabilities, FAST will automate the movement of data across multiple storage tiers based upon business policies, predictive models and real-time access patterns. This is expected to further accelerate the adoption of Enterprise Flash Drives by enabling customers to more leverage Flash performance together with the cost-effective capacities of SATA hard drives for improved return on investment and lower total cost of ownership. This new technology will be available on Symmetrix V-Max systems later this year.
Vendor looks to increase support for its partners with proof-of-concept labs and centres of excellence.