EMC Federation Intros First Of Five Software-Defined Enterprise Solutions

EMC's Bharat Badrinath (left) and VMware's Paul Strong

EMC on Thursday unveiled the first of five planned integrated solutions based on technology sourced from multiple parts of the EMC Federation, fulfilling a promise the company made during last May's EMC World.

That initial solution, the Federation Software-Defined Data Center, combines EMC and VMware technology into a flexible platform upon which further EMC Federation technologies can be built, said Bharat Badrinath, EMC's senior director of global solutions marketing.

The EMC Federation includes EMC Information Infrastructure; virtualization leader VMware; big data and custom apps developer Pivotal; and security technology developer RSA.

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EMC at EMC World discussed plans for developing five major solutions that integrate technology from the EMC Federation, Badrinath said. The first is the Federation Software-Defined Data Center, which will be the base for future solutions.

Those future solutions, expected to be released over the next few months, include Platform-as-a-Service, which combine technology from EMC, VMware and Pivotal; a virtualized data lake featuring Pivotal technology; end-user computing with VMware and EMC technology; and security analytics, which will add RSA to the virtualized data lake.

"We are bringing the best of each offering as an integrated approach to meet client needs," Badrinath told CRN.

The Federation Software-Defined Data Center integrates a wide range of EMC and VMware technology. Included in the solution is EMC ViPR software-defined storage platform; VMAX or VNX storage platforms; EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain data protection technologies; EMC and VMware integrated workflows; VMware vCloud Suite; VMware NSX virtual networking technology; VMware vCenter Log Insight; and VMware IT Business Management Suite.

The solution also allows VCE Vblocks to be used as a component even though VCE is not a part of the EMC Federation, Badrinath said.

The four companies in the EMC Federation are offering joint support so that a call to any of them related to a Federation solution will result in answers, he said.

Just because the Federation Software-Defined Data Center is based on EMC technology doesn't mean customers cannot use components from other vendors, Badrinath said.

"This doesn't stop customers from bringing other technology to the solution," he said. VMware is free to work with other partners. EMC is free to work with other partners like Microsoft. But we believe our technology is the best."

NEXT: Understanding The Federation Software-Defined Data Center

The combined solution was integrated in EMC's new Federation Lab, a physical lab on the VMware campus for developing solutions from the various components of the EMC Federation, said Paul Strong, VMware's vice president and CTO for global field.

"The lab validates our claim that the sum is greater than the parts," Strong told CRN. "It allows us to engineer and validate solutions so that we end up with a stack of solutions that can be easily deployed for customers."

Strong admitted that EMC and VMware have worked together on solutions similar to the Federation Software-Defined Data Center, but that the new solution takes integration to a new level.

"This is about accelerating adoption of this technology," he said. "Some technologies are new. But we want to accelerate adoption all the way through the software stack. And we provide integrations that are not available yet."

The Federation Software-Defined Data Center is a key part of EMC's plan to align with partners to drive businesses to start adopting the software-defined data center as a future platform, said Curt Stalhood, cloud technical solutions architect at World Wide Technology, a St. Louis-based solution provider and EMC channel partner.

The solution ties a wide range of EMC and VMware components into an integrated solution, Stalhood told CRN.

"You can start with EMC's VMAX or VNX storage, and add VMware's vCloud Automation Center as a portal," he said. "VCloud Automation Center can be tied to Backup-as-a-Service and Storage-as-a-Service, and can do auto provisioning of EMC's Avamar and Data Domain technologies."

This also allows easy integration with the EMC Hybrid Cloud, which works in VMware, Hyper-V and OpenStack environments, Stalhood said.

The difference between the Federation Software-Defined Data Center and other data center solutions is in how EMC combines 15 or 20 different products into one solution that can be stood up in only few weeks, Stalhood said.

"Normally, standing up a product is easy," he said. "But it takes time to add the self-service portal and go through the design phase. The Federation already has the scripts and information to help jump-start the deployment."

The new Federation Software-Defined Data Center will be available via both direct and indirect sales channels, Strong said.