EMC just opened the doors to a new 450,000-square-foot Center of Excellence in Durham, NC, to deliver on its promise of cloud computing and IT as a service.
Beyond housing a virtualized cloud center that supports EMC's more than 50,000 employees around the world, the center includes 130,000 square feet of global research and development labs. And EMC has lofty ambitions for the new project.
According to EMC, the new data center lays the foundation for cloud computing with an architecture that will leverage its latest information infrastructure technologies, VMware virtualization and cloud infrastructure technologies, and Vblock Infrastructure Platforms from VCE, the Virtual Computing Environment company formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel.
EMC's Data Center Design
"By giving IT staff the tools and capabilities necessary to locate and move virtualized workloads easily and transparently, the company believes it will be able to maximize system efficiency, performance and utilization," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
"This singular focus on flexibility underscores EMC's goal of the Durham facility being able to adapt to new technologies with minimal disruption over the next 20 years -- a length of time virtually unheard of in data-center design."
EMC's Center of Excellence is designed to operate as a Tier III data center with N+1 redundancy and redundant pathways for the highest availability supporting mission-critical operations. It leverages EMC's portfolio of infrastructure products and will run on a single version of VMware vSphere virtualization and cloud infrastructure platform within an x86 enterprise-hosting architecture running on Vblock Infrastructure Platforms from VCE.
About 350 applications and 6 petabytes of data will be hosted at the center.
"The hype surrounding popular technologies like cloud computing sometimes obscures the actual benefits they can deliver. That's one reason a project like EMC's new Durham, NC, cloud data center and COE facility is so important," King said. "Not only does it deliver significant cost and efficiency benefits to its owner, but it also offers EMC customers a litmus test of how beneficial next generation technologies can be and provides a road map of how they themselves can get there."
EMC Saving Millions
As King sees it, planning the new facility and migration offers several key benefits, including reducing the total number of business applications EMC uses from 653 to 389, resulting in $3.7 million in savings and reducing the complexity of the move to Durham and a reduction in the number of database servers from 51 to 4 and in Oracle databases from 55 to six.
With the new center, EMC is also implementing tiering and next-generation data deduplication, data- and file-system archiving and automation, which has improved storage utilization by 75 percent and storage system administration by 170 percent, King noted. Tiering and archiving also allowed EMC to reduce the volume of data that needed to be migrated to Durham by 1.5 petabytes.
In all, EMS estimates that its journey to cloud computing has saved some $104.5 million CAPEX avoidance, lower energy consumption and space efficiency costs, has reduced energy consumption by 34 percent and shrunk the company's carbon footprint by nearly 100 million pounds of CO2.
"Make no mistake -- a comprehensive move to the cloud is neither as simple nor as easy as some might suggest. The new Durham data center and COE facility is proof of that," King said. "But EMC's effort also qualifies as an example of the benefits that foresight, careful planning, organized implementation and innovative IT solutions can deliver in both the short and long term."
Posted: 2011-09-16 @ 1:54am PT
Maybe they should call NetApp to come and show them how they can really save money.