EMC Launches Virtustream Global Hyper-scale Storage Cloud

Dell EMC's cloud will face tough, entrenched competition from IBM Softlayer, Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle for enterprise storage business.

LAS VEGAS—EMC, soon to be known as Dell EMC in the enterprise IT world, on May 2 launched a global, hyperscale storage cloud to compete in a huge, emerging market with IBM Softlayer, Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and a few others.

The announcement of Virtustream Storage Cloud was made at EMC World 2016 here at the Sands Conference Center. The cloud system immediately becomes Dell EMC's frontline Webscale storage, backup and archiving instrument.

Virtustream, a San Francisco-based startup acquired by EMC in May 2015, provides a layer of cloud-management abstraction that sits above the virtual machine (VM) management layer and affords more accurate controls for administrators, according to the company. In controlling that layer in the stack, Virtustream sets itself apart from other cloud management offerings.

Its application lifecycle control and automation functionality focuses specifically on I/O-intensive enterprise applications that run on highly automated, multitenant cloud systems, such as SAP's in-memory S/4HANA database and large, conventional, parallel databases.

Available May 10 for On-Premises or IaaS Deployments

Virtustream's services are expected to become available May 10 as both on-premises and cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) deployments for large enterprises.

The platform has been tested extensively, according to EMC. Underlying elements have been running successfully in production for several years as the primary object storage platform for a select set of customers managing multiple exabytes of data, with hundreds of billions of objects under management and an event monitoring system that processes more than 35 billion events per day, the company noted.

Virtustream Storage Cloud provides cloud extensibility for on-premises EMC storage, providing simple and efficient tiering, long-term backup retention and cold storage in the cloud with single-source EMC support, according to the company.

Key features include:

-- Engineered-in resiliency, delivering up to 13 x 9s of data durability;

-- Architected and optimized for performance, particularly for large object sizes;

-- Available read-after-failure provides resiliency and data integrity in case of site failure; and
-- Extensibility of on-premises primary storage and backup to the cloud.

EMC offerings the company expects will support the platform eventually include:
Data Domain: Using Data Domain Cloud Tier, users can automatically move backup data directly from EMC protection storage to Virtustream Storage Cloud for long-term backup retention;

EMC Data Protection Suite: Users can tier backup data from EMC protection software to Virtustream Storage Cloud for long-term backup retention;

VMAX, XtremIO and Unity Systems: Users can tier data to the cloud to reduce their onsite primary storage footprint while maintaining optimal performance through on-premises, client-side caching and Virtustream Storage Cloud; and

EMC Isilon: Users can archive cold data to the cloud using on-premises Isilon CloudPools policies to govern the placement and retention of tiered files to Virtustream Storage Cloud.

Enterprises soon can deploy Web-scale object storage for cloud-native applications using a simple, S3-compatible application programming interface, according to the company.

"Any modern data center must extend seamlessly to the cloud, which is why we're making cloud connectivity and cloud-tiering an inherent capability of all of our products," Jeremy Burton, EMC president of Products and Marketing, told eWEEK. "With Virtustream and the cloud capabilities in our storage products, we're able to offer our customers even more choice: They can tier to an EMC managed public cloud, EMC private cloud or third-party public cloud of their choice."

What Few People Know About Virtustream

The movement of Virtustream into the EMC ecosystem during the past 12 months was fairly smooth. The company had been a longtime partner of SAP, which also is a longtime partner of EMC, and of VMware, which is owned by EMC. Much of the Virtustream software already has been melded into that of EMC-owned companies.

What many people do not know is that a lot of the back end of the Virtustream cloud was built and/or enhanced by the same developers who built the Mozy backup cloud service, a Utah-based startup the company bought in 2007 to be a consumer-aimed backup cloud.

EMC Mozy is still in business, stable and profitable, but it doesn't get a lot of fanfare.

"It's still a good business for us," Burton told eWEEK, "but do we see ourselves doing small-business and consumer backup? That's not our sweet spot. We want to do enterprise.

"But why not let the guys who built this mega-consumer cloud that can manage like a 100PB with only a couple of guys—why don't we have them build out the business back end? Internally, that team is known as the Rubicon team, and it was the Rubicon team that built the hyperscale cloud that is now the Virtustream Cloud."

Syncplicity Selects Virtustream Storage Cloud
Syncplicity, a top-seller for EMC in the hybrid enterprise file sync and share market, will use Virtustream Storage Cloud to meet its customers' mobility and security needs, the company said on May 2.
"Virtustream offers a complete Hybrid EFSS solution enabling rapid large-scale deployments," said Syncplicity CEO Jon Huberman. "The combination of Syncplicity's hybrid EFSS solution with Virtustream's highly secure and scalable storage cloud delivers mobile access anytime, anywhere and on any device, with the security and data residency compliance demanded by enterprises."
Virtustream Storage Cloud with Syncplicity is slated to be generally available on May 10 with nodes in the United States and Europe. For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...