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EMC Virtustream Storage Cloud, Native Hybrid Cloud announced

The Virtustream Storage Cloud brings EMC into the public cloud market, and its Native Hybrid Cloud enables private clouds for OpenStack, Photon and Hadoop.

EMC -- soon to be part of Dell Technologies -- enhanced its public and private cloud options this week at EMC World 2016.

EMC today introduced the Native Hybrid Cloud turnkey platform for building private clouds to deploy Web-scale applications. That follows Monday's launch of the EMC Virtustream Storage Cloud, a public cloud built on technology from the vendor's $1.2 billion acquisition of Virtustream in 2015.

Virtustream Storage Cloud and Native Hybrid Cloud use EMC's Pivotal Cloud Foundry software running on underlying EMC storage hardware.

With Virtustream Storage Cloud, EMC moves into the public cloud storage market, even though company executives went out of their way to avoid direct comparisons to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.

The EMC Virtustream Storage Cloud supports on-premises block and file storage with underlying EMC VMAX arrays, Data Domain disk-based backup appliances, EMC data protection software and EMC Data Lake deployments with scale-out NAS boxes. Virtustream has an Amazon Simple Storage Service interface. EMC storage customers can tier cold data to the Virtustream cloud for long-term retention.

Colm Keegan, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said he doesn't expect EMC's public cloud move to threaten its relationship with cloud service providers. EMC counts many cloud providers as customers, and is positioning the EMC Virtustream Storage Cloud as an extension of its storage products more than a competitive storage cloud.

"Dell-EMC is officially entering the public cloud market space as a way to fill out its enterprise hybrid cloud story," Keegan said. "I don't think this means EMC is about to undercut its cloud service provider partners, but it will be specifically targeting mission-critical workloads for the cloud, which has been its crown jewel."

Simon Walsh, a Virtustream managing director, said the Virtustream cloud is divided into use cases for hybrid enterprise clouds for next-generation application development, primary public cloud storage with software "tethers" to on-premises transactional databases, and running Pivotal Cloud Foundry in a platform as a service model.

"We see four use cases for Virtustream Storage Cloud: archive and long-term retention, backup, data tiering, and as an object store for general, unstructured data," Walsh said. "The cloud-native functionality built on Cloud Foundry offers five nines of availability as a service level agreement. You can't obtain that [level of availability] in the public cloud market today."

Walsh said pricing for the enterprise and cloud-native functionality is based on consumption. EMC created a unit of measure it calls a micro VM that is based on a fixed amount of RAM, CPU and IOPS consumption. EMC analyzes workload environments and uses the metric to set pricing.

Pricing for Virtustream cloud storage will be on par with large public cloud providers, Walsh said. Four levels of pricing are dictated by the bandwidth required to run applications:

  • Standard rates start at 2.9 cents per gigabyte (GB)
  • Premium pricing for high-performance storage starts at 5.8 cents per gigabyte and includes geosynchronous replication for data protection.
  • Infrequent access for replication (2.5 cents per GB)
  • Cold archive (1.25 cents per GB)

Walsh said the EMC Virtustream Storage Cloud does not charge for the first 25% of egress per month for data moved to physical storage.

EMC Native Hybrid Cloud and VCE VxRack System 1000

The EMC Native Hybrid Cloud is built on VCE VxRack System 1000 hyper-converged hardware. Customers can choose software stacks to run VMware vSphere with Flex Nodes or SDDC Nodes, or build OpenStack nodes with VxRack arrays running the QTX Neutrino runtime operating system.

VCE VxRack System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes was previewed as Project Caspian at last year's EMC World. It supports multi-cloud infrastructure as a service stacks, including OpenStack, VMware Photon Platform and Apache Hadoop. VxRack 1000 is a rack-scale, hyper-converged system. VxRack Flex nodes use EMC's ScaleIO block storage and SDDC nodes run VMware vSphere Enterprise, VMware Virtual SAN, VMware NSX, vCenter Server and parts of VMware vRealize Suite.

VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes for OpenStack will be available in the second half of 2016. VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes for Photon and Hadoop will be available in 2017. VxRack System 1000 configurations start at $300,000.

Next Steps

EMC and VMware form joint venture under Virtustream brand

VMware no longer involved in EMC's Virtustream bid

EMC launches VxRack hyper-converged platform

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Conference Coverage

EMC World 2016: One-stop shop for conference coverage

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How will Virtustream's cloud storage pricing and deployment model stack up to established public cloud providers?
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We interviewed Virtustream's CEO Rodney Rogers last week. He gave some insight into the pricing that will be announced on May 10th - https://youtu.be/Kzn1N3rWuHQ?t=3m10s
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I'll be very interested to see how Virtustream handles Pivotal Cloud Foundry on their platform. Not many details were provided, but it was announced in the Day 1 keynote. 
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Of course they went out of their way to avoid comparisons with Amazon. Because most of the companies that have compared their products and their market share to Amazon have ended up pulling their products from the market.
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