EMC World: Sources Say EMC Will Target AWS S3 With New Easy Storage Connectivity To Virtustream

EMC is looking to tie its storage technology to its Virtustream cloud technology as a way to better compete with Amazon Web Services.

With that in mind, EMC will unveil technology to easily connect EMC storage solutions to Virtustream as a competitive offering to Amazon Web Services' Simple Storage Service (S3), sources close to EMC told CRN. The storage service is tightly linked to EMC's current storage arrays and backup solutions, the sources said.

The new solution is expected to be unveiled at next week's EMC World conference in Las Vegas.

[Related: EMC World Blockbuster: Storage Giant Set To Attack Nimble, Pure With New Unity All-Flash Array]

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Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC entered the cloud provider market in July with the close of a $1.2 billion acquisition of Bethesda, Md.-based cloud software and Infrastructure-as-a-Service firm Virtustream.

EMC and subsidiary VMware in October unveiled plans to form a new cloud services business jointly owned by the two based on the Virtustream acquisition. However, by mid-December, VMware exited the joint venture, leaving EMC to develop Virtustream on its own.

An EMC spokesperson declined to discuss whether EMC will introduce the Virtustream connection technology at EMC World.

The new solution will make it easier for customers and partners to take advantage of Virtustream, said Jamie Shepard, senior vice president for health care and strategy at Lumenate, a Dallas-based solution provider and EMC channel partner.

The technology will be available to a wide range of EMC solutions, including the new EMC Unity all-flash array with unified block, file and object storage capabilities that EMC is also introducing at EMC World, Shepard told CRN.

EMC storage solutions currently connect to multiple clouds, Shepard said. "So if a customer is working with Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, they can burst to Azure when needed," he said. "Now [with the new technology] they can do so with Virtustream as well."

Such a capability will mean using the Virtustream cloud will have benefits when compared to using other clouds, Shepard said.

"If you use a different cloud, you will have a different billing statement to handle," Shepard said. "But if you have EMC storage and get a 30-TB license for Virtustream, you get everything in one billing while getting better performance."

EMC is also being smart with the Virtustream connector technology, according to Shepard. "This is an option for customers, but not one that EMC will lock them into," he said. "It's like VMware's VVOLS [Virtual Volumes] or VAAI (VMware vSphere Storage APIs -- Array Integration). EMC was the first to offer them, but didn't lock customers in."

Another solution provider who preferred to remain anonymous said the Virtustream connector will actually be a premium solution, compared with AWS S3, when tied to EMC's Elastic Cloud Service.

"Because ECS will be both on-premises and in the cloud, customers will get richer functionality than with S3," the solution provider said. "But you have to have EMC products on both ends."

The solution provider told CRN that EMC had been expected to unveil the Virtustream connection technology a few months ago, but that plans changed after VMware pulled out of the Virtustream partnership.