EMC helps VMAX, VNX storage arrays hook up with public clouds

Cloud repositories like Azure and Amazon S3 can become another tier of storage

Public clouds will be the next big spot for some enterprises to store data, and EMC wants to help them get there through its arrays.

On Tuesday, the company introduced automatic tiering of data from its VMAX and VNX systems to public clouds including Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Platform. It's the latest extension of EMC software that can move data around based on how quickly an enterprise wants each application to respond.

Organizations are starting to use public clouds for storage in order to cut costs and add capacity quickly. That could eat into EMC's traditional business of selling storage arrays that sit in a company's own data centers.

In the second quarter, sales of traditional external systems still made up the lion's share of global enterprise storage spending but fell by 3.9 percent, according to IDC. At the same time, revenue for vendors that sell directly to hyperscale companies like cloud service providers rose 25.8 percent.

EMC wants to give customers a way to easily take advantage of both. 

In VMAX, the mainstay of the company's high-end enterprise storage, built-in Fast.x software provides that automatic tiering. Fast.x already allowed customers to extend the tiering intelligence to EMC's Xtremio all-flash arrays. Now it's being extended to public clouds, which can become relatively cheap lower tiers of storage for data that's needed less often. 

With CloudArray technology that the company acquired with TwinStrata last year, Fast.x can reach out to the cloud. At the same time, EMC is also extending the tiering software to third-party enterprise storage systems from vendors including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi and NetApp.

"Cloud should be just another storage medium for our customers," said Chris Ratliffe, senior vice president of marketing at EMC's core technologies group.

The VPlex tiering software in EMC's less expensive VNX arrays can also now tap into the cloud.

EMC is also enhancing CloudBoost, its cloud data protection platform. CloudBoost 2.0, introduced on Tuesday, adds compression and deduplication so companies don't have to send as much data over a wide-area network to the cloud. Maximum capacity for CloudBoost is up, too, from 400TB to 6PB. 

With a nod to new worries about data privacy in Europe, the company also added a new option to its Spanning service. Spanning backs up data to the cloud from SaaS (software as a service) platforms like Salesforce and Office 365. The new option lets enterprises make sure data from Europe, such as information about consumers, stays in that region. It stores that data in an EMC facility in Europe.

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