EMC Trumps HP-Dell 3Par Battle With New VMware Integration


Forget the HP-Dell dog-fight over storage virtualization power 3Par. EMC is trumping both rivals with an unprecedented level of integration with its crown jewel VMware product.

EMC Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Jeremy Burton Monday touted the breakthrough new VMware integration, including new functionality aimed at managing the storage giant's Clariion and Celerra product lines with VMware's vCenter virtualization management product.

The software enhancements, which are scheduled to be formally announced on Tuesday, include 60-plus integration points with VMware, the landmark namesake virtualization company that EMC bought seven years ago for $635 million. The software enhancements are the most extensive product integration points since EMC acquired VMware.

The VMware integration goes deeper than either HP, Dell or other storage players have in VMware integration, said Burton.

The EMC VMware offering comes with HP stunning the storage world with a $1.6 billion offer to outbid rival Dell for 3Par, which has gained wide acclaim for its storage arrays built for public and private cloud computing. The HP offer comes one week after Dell said it would purchase 3Par for $1.15 billion.

Speaking at the CRN parent Everything Channel's XChange Conference, Burton told several hundred solution providers that the VMware VCenter management console integration is unprecedented. "If you are a VMware administrator you can look down into storage and if you are an EMC administrator you can look up to the virtual machine," he said. "You only get that with EMC."

The software enhancements provide an unprecedented level of efficiency and simplicity for solution providers managing storage in a virtualized environment, said Burton.

"This is a huge software release for us, geared around how to drive the best storage in a virtual environment," said Burton. "The single point of management (with VCenter) for mid-tier storage arrays is a first. We have never had as extensive a set of integrations with VMware."

The software enhancements feature a new interface that boasts up to "90 percent fewer clicks" required for common administrative tasks associated with storage management, said Burton.

"If you are running in a virtual environment, you want to make sure that there is a level of integration between the way you manage the storage and the way you manage the server," said Burton. "By working with VMware, we have about 60 different integration points with the VMware product portfolio."

EMC is also adding software enhancements to provide FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) to any Clariion or Celerra storage array purchased in the last several years. "If you are going to move to 10-Gbit Ethernet, you don't have to buy a new box," he said. "You can retrofit it to anything that has been bought in the last couple of years. That is a huge deal."

Those FCoE capabilities provide partners with an additional sales opportunity for existing Clariion and Celerra customers, he said.

Also included in the new software are new enhancements to EMC's FAST, or Fully Automated Storage Tiering, capability. FAST automates the movement of data within a storage system according to tiering policies to deliver higher service levels while reducing storage acquisition costs, according to EMC.

"We can now be very, very granular with how we move data around," Burton said.