EMC looks to the clouds with TwinStrata and new VMax3 array

The TwinStrata acquisition could help put the latest VMax release at the center of hybrid clouds

By , IDG News Service |  Storage

EMC's TwinStrata acquisition announced on Tuesday is just part of a bigger move to keep its venerable VMax storage platform up to date with large enterprises as they enter the cloud era.

TwinStrata, which EMC is acquiring for an undisclosed sum, makes software to move data from in-house storage to public clouds. EMC plans to make that capability part of the VMax3, a new generation of the large-scale VMax storage family that was also announced on Tuesday at the company's Redefine Possible event in London.

While promising to help enterprises shift backups or archives to public clouds with TwinStrata, EMC has also architected the VMax3 series as an engine for internal data services and hybrid clouds. By making an in-house storage array into a platform for cloud services, the company hopes to help IT departments retain or regain control of their data while offering workgroups a way to use storage that's much like what they've found in flexible public cloud services.

EMC is tackling cloud storage from multiple angles. In May it announced the Elastic Cloud Storage Appliance, a large-scale appliance built around low-cost spinning disks. It's intended as cheap, long-term storage that can be used by cloud service providers or let enterprises build their own cloud, an alternative that EMC says can be cheaper than using public clouds.

Big enterprise storage vendors such as EMC long dismissed public clouds and pushed private clouds as an alternative, said 451 Research analyst Simon Robinson. All this recent activity reflects EMC acknowledging that enterprises are embracing clouds, and not just private ones, he said.

"It clearly is happening," based on 451's findings, Robinson said. "EMC sees that as well."

The VMax3 line is the latest set of products in a series of high-end hybrid flash-and-disk arrays that was introduced out of EMC's Symmetrix line in 2009.

The three VMax3 arrays are equipped with a converged storage hypervisor and OS called Hypermax OS that can operate services such as data protection, data mobility and cloud access right on the array, EMC says. The VMax3 systems also come with a software architecture, Dynamic Virtual Matrix, for allocating an array's built-in processing power to different tasks based on the demands of applications.

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