On Monday, EMC outlined its converted network strategy with new products and services for Ethernet-based storage, data centers and private clouds. EMC's new converged networks portfolio aims to help customers address network sprawl, complexity, as well as power and cooling costs.
With its new strategy, EMC is betting more organizations will move to replace multiple separate networks with converged networks, which are single network infrastructures designed specifically for the needs of virtualized storage and server environments. Working with its partners, EMC wants to lead the transitional charge with its new portfolio.
Converged Networking Portfolio
EMC plans to introduce an expanded portfolio of converged networking services for Ethernet environments over the next few months, including network assessment, planning, design and implementation services, supporting a range of protocols.
The company will also offer an enhanced suite of tools to size, analyze, design and migrate converged networks, new Ethernet competencies, a full range of Brocade 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches and a data center solution based on Cisco products.
"Customers today are on their journey to the private cloud by virtualizing servers, networks and storage," said Howard Elias, president and COO of EMC's Information Infrastructure and Cloud Services. "The advent of converged networks will simplify network challenges and create the data center infrastructure required to realize the full potential of private clouds."
Storage in the Cloud
For years, enterprises have deployed multiple dedicated and segregated storage networks whose capabilities generally paralleled the value of the information assets they supported, noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. Storage Area Networks (SANs), he said, were reserved for the business critical data inhabiting enterprise-class arrays populated with FibreChannel drives while more common data and traffic were relegated to pedestrian Ethernet infrastructures.
IT evolution, King noted, has a way of lowering barriers over time. He pointed to the plethora of storage solutions leveraging increasingly robust Ethernet performance, the most recent being the new 10GbE solutions with greater affordability, performance and reliability. As King sees it, this is all important to the cloud.
"In a literal sense, networks provide the underlying skeleton which helps support and sustain highly virtualized, often amorphous and widely distributed cloud computing assets," King said. "The value of private clouds, which depends on the
seamless interchange of internal/external data and application resources, would likely evaporate if service providers were forced to support multiple networking infrastructures and protocols."
EMC's Value Proposition
EMC offers deep SAN expertise and a history of recognizing critical industry trends early and helping customers take advantage of new developments and technologies while continuing to receive full value from their existing storage investments, King said. EMC also has deep relationships with IT.
"The broad effort behind EMC's converged network strategy proves it is far
more than an amorphous marketing campaign," King said. "Instead, the company understands that the combination of powerful 10GbE technologies, its own deep storage networking expertise and services, and key partners' innovative solutions should help provide EMC customers a clear, secure path to sustainable private cloud computing."