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EMC Expands Private Cloud Partnerships

While most of the thousands of attendees at EMC World this week are trying to figure out how best to improve their IT operations by moving them to the cloud, many are eschewing the public cloud for their own private cloud. EMC is working to accommodate them.

EMC chief executive Joe Tucci set the stage at the start by telling the attendees that they ain't seen nothing yet: "We're now going through what I believe is pretty much going to be the biggest wave in the history of information technology," said Tucci in a keynote speech, referring to the growing cloud computing phenomenon.

In a boost to its strategy to offer private cloud solutions as a complement to its public cloud offerings, EMC unveiled a broad expansion of its partner ecosystem for its EMC Atmos cloud platform. A veritable flood of service providers and independent software vendors were lining up at EMC World to help IT users create or improve their own private cloud.

For instance, one group of service providers -- AT&T, CBICI, Hostel Solutions, Peer1, and Unisys -- is utilizing Atmos technology along with EMC's RSA Data Loss Prevention suite to assist CIOs in improving their private computing clouds while building into their applications security features like network intrusion prevention.

One important message EMC is working to deliver to EMC World attendees is that private clouds, when property built, can take advantage of the benefits offered by individual vendors and solution providers.

"For businesses to accommodate the rapid information growth of their customers, there has to be a fundamental shift in enabling customers to move their data from one service provider to another based on their unique needs," explained Michael Feinberg, senior VP of EMC's cloud infrastructure group. "We believe that it will take multiple service providers to deliver a globally accessible cloud storage service to support all regions of the world and ultimately, these service providers will work together similar to how wireless providers interact today."

Feinberg underscored Tucci's prediction that thousands of companies are and will be establishing their own private computing clouds.

Of course, the idea of a CIO having a private cloud of his or her own isn't exactly a new idea. The powerful thrust of the movement is, however. AT&T, for instance, indicated it was preparing for the private cloud movement when it rolled out its AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service. "In 2009," said Steve Caniano, VP of AT&T hosting and cloud services, "AT&T became one of the first service providers worldwide to offer a cloud storage service based on the Atmos technology."

EMC's partnership with Cisco in beefing up data center technologies has been well publicized, but EMC also showcased another important supplier of data center servers -- Dell, whose Forrest Norrod hailed Dell's involvement with the EMC Atmos solution for providing the building blocks "for efficient dense storage that is required to support global cloud storage infrastructures."

EMC also pointed to its EMC Velocity partner community, which helps independent software vendors develop and market cloud solutions that work with the Atmos cloud storage platform. "By partnering with EMC and integrating with the EMC Atmos API," said Feinberg, "we can help ISVs integrate with our service provider network and deliver a comprehensive set of resources for joint customers."