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EMC's New Push Targets Private Clouds

EMC cloud
Storage giant EMC today introduced EMC Proven Solutions for the private cloud, a combination of hardware, software, partnerships, and consulting services designed to help companies achieve a reliable ROI from private cloud deployments.

"The last thing CIOs want to do is introduce risk as they transition their current data center to a private cloud," Todd Pavone, vice president for EMC (NYSE: EMC) Global Solutions, said in a statement.

"We provide customers with predictable results and faster ROI as they deploy technology to virtualize their application infrastructures for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and SAP," Pavone added.

The idea is to convey that moving to a private cloud isn't easy, but that EMC can help.

"The transformation is multifaceted with significant impact across information infrastructure and applications and the journey to private cloud represents a foundational change in how IT organizations architect, operate and deliver services to their customers," Tom Roloff, senior vice president for EMC Consulting, said in a statement.

The news comes as private clouds have emerged in the spotlight as a way to merge the benefits of a cloud architecture with the security, reliability and control that comes with keeping applications within the corporate datacenter.

In response, cloud and virtualization providers are offering products to make it easier to adopt or manage the private cloud. Amazon released its virtual private cloud (VPC) offering last week, and OpSource unveiled a tightly controlled private cloud system, too. In addition to building private clouds for clients, CA last month unveiled management software to monitor and automate use of Amazon's public Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

EMC isn't alone in warning that hopping onto the private cloud bandwagon might be harder than it looks, though. CA, for instance, warned last month that managers need to avoid getting sucked into over-ambitious private cloud products and must remain vigilant about setting cost controls.

According to EMC, businesses face plenty of challenges when choosing to adopt the private cloud -- like "planning, implementing and scaling their private cloud environment, inclusive of backup and recovery, business continuity, disaster recovery, management, and the transition of tier 1 applications to the virtual infrastructure," the company said.

But EMC also said that it's got the tools and services businesses can use to avoid those obstacles.

The company's new offerings incorporate EMC Ionix solutions that are designed to make it easier to follow ITIL and ITSM by automating best practices. EMC's Private Cloud Acceleration Services help companies plan virtualization and move applications from physical to virtual environments.

They also involve EMC Consulting, which can incorporate products from EMC, Cisco, and VMware, the company said. According to EMC, its consulting unit has delivered savings of over 45 percent compared to the traditional datacenter.

[cob:Special_Report]The company said that EMC Proven Solutions reduce virtualization configuration time, reduce the disk space used by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, reduce the CPU cycles used by Oracle software in virtual environments, and "enable full-scale disaster recovery rehearsal without interruption to SAP production data."

"EMC offers a suite of services to help customers with this transition so they can quickly realize the cost savings, streamlined operational processes and increased flexibility associated with a private cloud," Roloff said.

EMC makes technology acquisitions, alliances

The EMC Proven Solutions announcement comes during a week in which EMC made two key acquisitions. The company said yesterday that it is acquiring e-discovery specialist Kazeon. The move will complement EMC's Documentum software as well as its storage products. Kazeon offers an appliance designed to help companies decide what to do with their data.

More closely related to today's announcement, EMC also this week acquired FastScale Technology, a company whose intellectual property is expected to bolster EMC's Ionix product by improving the migration of applications to private clouds and by reducing their footprint in the private cloud, a key goal of EMC Proven Solutions.

Also this week, EMC and VMware announced that EMC is reselling a key component of VMware's vCenter 4.0 family called AppSpeed, software that helps enterprise IT managers monitor the performance of applications in virtual environments.