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"EMC is coming out of the gate with full integration of flash with their software," Shepard said. "EMC [is doing] it the right way, even if they lose a bit of time doing it."
EMC was also very smart in that its Flash Business Unit, which was previously headed by former Intel executive and now VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, was set up so that it does not report to the company's storage business, Shepard said.
EMC has SSDs as cache in its storage arrays, as well as FAST Cache software for tiering and virtual provisioning, he said. "But its server-based flash focus is separate," he said. "That's important. It's perfect, actually. It's EMC being smart. If they want to compete with Fusion-io, Whiptail or other startups, its server flash business shouldn't be part of storage."