EMC To Buy Cloudscaling: OpenStack Tech For Connecting Private, Public Clouds

EMC is acquiring Cloudscaling, a cloud computing startup that develops technology which allows the building of OpenStack-based private clouds on customers' own choice of hardware.

An EMC spokesperson confirmed the pending acquisition, which was first reported Monday by Bloomberg. "To further extend our breadth of cloud platform support, including VMware and others, EMC has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cloudscaling. We’re now in the final run-up to closing," the spokesperson told CRN via email.

EMC plans to further discuss the acquisition at an Oct. 28 cloud-related launch event, but for now is not otherwise commenting, the EMC spokesperson wrote.

[Related: EMC Federation Intros First Of Five Software-Defined Enterprise Solutions]

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According to Bloomberg, the acquisition was for less than $50 million.

Cloudscaling's Open Cloud System, or OCS, technology is aimed at helping customers build their own Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution that is fully interoperable with leading public cloud services. With OCS, businesses can build an enterprise-grade OpenStack private cloud solution on their own hardware.

OCS is an integrated and fully tested solution that includes a cloud operating system, cloud operations console, cloud management layer, hybrid delivery services and certified hardware reference designs.

OCS features include an advanced scheduler for intelligent placement of new virtual machines into a cloud infrastructure with performance guarantees; support for block, object and fixed storage options along with the Cinder open source plug-in; choice of networking infrastructure including secure virtual networks in OpenStack clouds; API support for Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Platform and OpenStack; high availability; and a full-service Web portal.

Interestingly enough, an online presentation from Cloudscaling counts among its competitors EMC and VMware, which is 80 percent owned by EMC.

EMC's planned acquisition of Cloudscaling came as a surprise but makes a lot of sense, said Jamie Shepard, regional and health systems senior vice president at Lumenate, a Dallas-based solution provider and longtime EMC partner.

"EMC is truly trying to become more relevant in software than hardware," Shepard told CRN. "This has been happening now for five years. The industry is moving in this direction, too. Moving away from monolithic systems to software-defined data centers."

As EMC moves more toward developing a software-defined data center technology stack, it wants to ensure customers can move their workloads to and from any cloud platform or on-premise system, Shepard said.

"No matter if it's OpenStack, VMware or KVM, EMC won't care," he said. "EMC shouldn't care. Customers can get sick of having just one cloud provider just like they get sick of having just one storage vendor. They are moving to OpenStack. And EMC sees the value of OpenStack, too."