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Cloud Management Plays Big Role in 42 EMC World Product Announcements

EMC has kicked off its customer and partner event with 42 product announcements across its storage, backup, virtualization and management portfolio, and a major push into cloud computing. Along with the usual storage and backup rollouts, the world's largest storage vendor says it's accelerating the journey to cloud management by helping IT departments store, manage, protect and analyze information in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way.

Running this week in Las Vegas, EMC World is playing host to more than 13,000 customers and partners, who were introduced to a new suite of enhancements to the Atmos Cloud platform. According to the company, the changes transform the way service providers and enterprises manage big data in large, globally distributed cloud storage environments. EMC also announced new Atmos Cloud Accelerators and the DataBridge infrastructure management tool.

Cloud management was also the focus of last year's event. EMC says research from the 451 Group predicts that the public cloud storage services market will grow to almost $6 billion by 2015, with a CAGR of 47%. A quarter of respondents to the recent InformationWeek State of Storage Survey report have online storage in their project plans for the next year, a 20% increase from 2011. However, about 75% of respondents aren't yet using cloud services; 44% are considering it.

According to a prepared statement from Pat Gelsinger, president and chief operating officer, EMC information infrastructure products, rigid technology constraints effectively forced data to a lower priority. "The onset of virtualization, cloud computing and big data analytics, however, have restored data to its rightful place as the center of IT gravity. The shift is swift and irreversible, from dedicated infrastructure silos built around specific applications where data is either locked in a specific application or orbits the periphery, to a data-centric approach to computing."

EMC says the new Atmos enhancements enable service providers and enterprises to manage a 100-petabyte cloud as a single system across distributed sites, as well as provide better than 50% faster performance for large objects, 300% improved system visibility with expanded monitoring for globally distributed storage environments and a 90% reduction in upgrade time–with no service disruption. The latest Cloud Accelerators' enhancements include expanded Web access tools for Google Chrome and HTML5, as well as new Atmos API capabilities, such as secure single-use access for anonymous users, capacity management APIs to enable quotas and the ability to set the identifier for an Atmos object.

Centera customers can also now carry their metadata into an Atmos Cloud and apply data life cycle policies. AtmosSync, an open source tool, accelerates migration of file system content to the cloud. All of these product enhancements are expected to be available in the second half the year.

Finally, EMC is reaching out to its channel partners with several initiatives intended to help customers move to the cloud, including the VNXe3150. The entry-level rack storage system has been optimized for virtualized, private-cloud environments, with 50% more performance and capacity per rack unit. Partners can also qualify for two new specialties, Cloud Builder and Cloud Provider, in the third and fourth quarter, respectively.

"The VNXe 3150 finally brings the ability to use flash-based SSDs to the SMB-oriented VNXe line," says Howard Marks, founder of and a Network Computing contributor. "Since just 5% to 10% flash can vastly accelerate most applications, this makes VNXe a viable solution for things that demand high IOPS, like VDI. EMC's also integrated VMware's Operations Manager to give VNX performance management features lacking in most small organizations, let alone the small environments VNXe targets. Finally, EMC has made VNX and VNXe snapshots comparable to NetApp's by replacing copy-on-write with redirect-on-write, pointer-based snapshots."

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