EMC, Hungry for New Cloud IT, Acquires Three Young Companies

NEWS ANALYSIS: At this point, it looks like the data storage and security giant will buy anything that moves as long as it provides cloud services.

EMC, known for its old-school yet highly successful approach to the market in the 1990s and 2000s, is now scrambling to stay relevant and ahead of the IT curve by gulping smaller, younger companies right and left.

At this point, it looks like the data storage and security giant will buy anything that moves as long as it has to do with cloud services. On Oct. 28 EMC announced the acquisition of three cloud technology companies at once: Cloudscaling, Maginatics and Spanning.

Each company brings to EMC expertise and software it didn't have previously in addition to the new blood it needs to keep up with the scores of storage- and security-related startups that have been nipping at its heels for several years.

All of the new additions are aimed at EMC's chosen future direction: Provide first-class hybrid cloud solutions that contains any type of IT a customer may want to buy -- products that span cloud infrastructure, storage and data protection.

Only the Most Recent Acquisitions

These three acquisitions are only the most recent. In all, EMC has acquired 14 other companies in the last three years: XtremIO, Likewise, ScaleIO, Watch4Net, iWave, TwinStrata, Syncplicity, Trinity Technologies, Asankya, Tiburon Technologies, Netwitness, Silicium Security, Silver Tail Systems, and Aveksa. The mothership's insatiable appetite for swallowing outside IT and engineers has almost become the stuff of legend.

On a particularly busy day for making industry news, the company also announced the launch of the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution, an aggregation that unites the best of private and public clouds to enable IT-as-a-service and offers public cloud interoperability. To do this, EMC uses its own components, such as VMware vCloud Air and RSA Security, to work alongside other industry standard cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

EMC appears quite willing to surrender its market war games with competitors in order to bring democratization to the solution for the benefit of the customer. Things are moving so fast in the data center products and services business that if everything does not work together well in a best-of-breed-type manner, potential customers will quickly look elsewhere if one provider cannot provide what's needed, and quickly. And what's needed in most cases is fast new software that can work on commodity servers and storage, whether the hardware is older or new.

'Redefining Hybrid Cloud'

"We're redefining hybrid cloud," EMC Vice President of Cloud Solutions Peter Cutts wrote in his company blog. "Why? Because the speed at which organizations do business is accelerating–the IT megatrends of cloud, mobile, social and big data represent a massive opportunity for companies to deliver better products, better services, and better outcomes for their customers–but to be successful every fast-moving business needs an even faster-moving IT organization."

This is because IT is now vital for almost every project's success within an organization, Cutts said.

"IT has been helping organizations drive growth, derive more value, provide agility and reduce cost. Yet while most organizations are good at executing well-structured long-term projects where resource requirements are known, they're usually challenged when it comes to fast-paced short-term projects with unpredictable requirements," Cutts said.

Cutts said that the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution simplifies deployment of a hybrid cloud "because it is a fully engineered solution delivering support for a variety of workloads enterprise IT is now expected to support."

Several Options Within the Package

The packages offer several options–VMware, Microsoft, OpenStack–and choice in public clouds with which a company’s on-premises data center can interoperate. This is what many data center managers, CIOs and CTOs are seeking

As part of the launch, EMC also introduced new professional and educational services designed to help customers implement the Hybrid Cloud Solution within their own IT environments.

The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution Federation Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) Edition with VMware is available immediately. Microsoft Cloud Platform and OpenStack-powered editions will be available in 2015, the company said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...