Category Archives: Virtustream

Virtustream enters European cloud market place

competitive swimmingWhen looking at the European cloud market ecosystem, most people would be forgiven for not looking much past the three largest holders of market share; AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google. But there are alternatives, despite them being less well known. This is the challenge facing Virtustream MD Simon Walsh.

Although as a company Virtustream has been in operation since 2009, the team consider themselves in start-up mode, taking position to pounce on the European market over the company months. The company was acquired by EMC last year, and formed the tech giant’s managed cloud services business, a position which could be seen as enviable by other cloud companies aiming to topple the top three’s firm grasp on the cloud market.

“EMC is the largest storage company in the world,” said Walsh. “And we’re aiming to leverage that position. We’re taking a rifle shot approach to building business in the European markets, but in parallel we’ve partnered with EMC because they own us, and we’ve partnered with Dell because they own EMC. With these relationships, we have access to multiple routes to market, and we plan on leveraging the recognition of companies like EMC and Dell to scale Virtustream rapidly.”

Virtustream is currently one of six EMC Federation companies (EMC2, Pivotal, RSA, VCE, VMWare and Virtustream), and will continue to be an independent brand following the introduction of Dell Technologies, and the subsequent sub-brands, in the coming months. While the brand is relatively unknown in the EMEA and APJ markets, this is not the case in North America where it has a number of certifications for federal government contracts and a number of enterprise customers.

Growth in the European market will firstly utilize the certifications Virtustream has in the US market to provide credibility for public sector organizations in Europe, and secondly, leverage customers who are already bought into the EMC and Dell portfolios.

The new EMC/Dell execs are seemingly learning lessons from Microsoft’s rise to the top of the market segment, as opposed to AWS’, becoming an end-to-end enterprise IT vendor (similar to Microsoft) as opposed to a specialist public cloud company (AWS). While AWS is widely recognised as the cloud leader worldwide, a recent study from JP Morgan will give the new EMC/Dell execs confidence.

The research highlighted 46.9% of the CIOs surveyed highlighted Microsoft as the most critical and indispensable to the future of their IT environment, whereas AWS only accounted for 13%. The all-encompassing portfolio offered by Microsoft (cloud, desktop, server and database etc.) was more appealing than AWS’ offering.

Simon Walsh

Virtustream Managing Director Simon Walsh

Virtustream can offer cloud capabilities across the board, from cloud native to traditional systems of record, and now the team have connected the cloud storage options directly to three EMC platforms in the software. The team are leaning on the idea of trust in the EMC brand, straightforwardness of upgrade and the simple integration between the offerings of all federation businesses, will offer customers a portfolio which can’t be matched in the industry.

“EMC is globally 30% of the storage market, if we go to the installed base and connect these customers to our storage cloud we should be able to scale pretty quickly (on growth of the Virtustream business),” said Walsh. “We may not be number one in the cloud storage market, but I can see us being in the top three for market share within the near future.”

One area the team are targeting in particular is the core business applications. Most enterprise organizations cloud be perceived to have a reluctance and a paranoia to run core business applications in the cloud, though Virtustream believes it has an offering which can counter this trend.

“Yes, I see paranoia, however it is geographically different,” said Walsh. “Europe is behind. Europe is still clinging onto building it themselves or outsourcing. There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing, but in the America’s they are much bolder at adopting cloud.

“Most people have used cloud to date for dev and test or they’ve used it for web front end or scale out systems of engagement, hardly anybody actually has an application which they run their business on in the cloud. It’s either in their own data centre which they run themselves or they’ve outsourced, and they have someone doing application management services. We have a hybrid solution which can change all this.”

The team have combined public cloud attributes of agility and tiered payment, and the outsourcing attributes of a core app, with an SLA and a performance guarantee, to create a hybrid proposition which they claim is unique for the industry. Walsh and his team now face the task of convincing European decision makers there is a feasible option to run core business applications in the cloud.

“The entire world has not shifted to cloud native,” said Walsh. “There is still a substantial amount of money spent by corporations around the world on running core business applications. We have a proposition which can run cloud native but can also run core business applications in the cloud, on demand and on consumption. No-one else in the industry does that. We can run all the systems on the same billing engine, the same cloud management tools and the same application management tools, which gives us a differentiator in the market.”

Shareholders question value in Dell/EMC deal

Dell office logoThe prospect of a potential shareholder revolt has changed the terms of the EMC takeover by Dell.

Under a new proposal EMC will retain a majority stake in Virtustream and has dropped plans to integrated it with VMware, according to sources quoted in Reuters.

Shares in VMware have lost a quarter of their value since Dell’s $60 billion deal to buy EMC was reported in BCN in October. The fall in share value could jeopardise the takeover deal, given the complicated stock related funding of the $67 billion transaction. Dell was originally set to pay EMC shareholders $24.05 per share in cash along with a special stock that tracks the common shares of EMC’s owned virtualisation company VMware.

Under the terms of the Dell deal, EMC shareholders will receive a 0.111 share of VMware tracking stock for each EMC share. However, with VMware shares falling, the value of one of EMC’s most precious assets is a major concern to stakeholders on both sides of the takeover.

A new plan has been hatched, reports Reuters, with EMC set to assume Virtustream’s losses by keeping a majority stake, while VMware will have a minority stake, in order to distance itself from the effects of the loss maker.

News of the new deal made VMware’s common shares improve in value by 3.85% at close of play on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Their current price stands at $60.35 a share. Uncertainty about the future of VMware has affected its ability to close deals, according to reports, while a disappointing earnings forecast for fourth-quarter revenue was blamed on currency fluctuations across China, Russia and Brazil.

Investors are asking EMC to launch a share buyback programme for VMware, according Reuters, but no decisions have been made. Activist hedge fund Elliott Management, one of the architects of strategy change at virtualisation company Citrix, is a top EMC shareholder.

Buying back shares could prove expensive, reported Recode. Since $5.7 billion of VMware’s $7.2 billion in cash and short-term investments is held outside the U.S. and subject to corporate taxes if the money is repatriated. Some shareholders pushing for the buyback have suggested taking on debt to pay for it.

EMC bought Virtustream for $1.2 billion in July and its ownership is shared between parent EMC and VMware on a 50/50 basis. Ending the joint venture arrangement could relieve pressure on VMware and cut the amount of capital spending and additional investment Virtustream would need, according to Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, in a research note seen by Reuters.

EMC, VMware unveil plans for Virtustream hybrid for the enterprise cloud

 EMC and VMware are to combine their cloud offerings under a jointly-owned 50/50 shared Virtustream brand led by its CEO Rodney Rogers.

The cloud service will be aimed at enterprises with an emphasis on hybrid cloud, which Virtustream’s owners identify as one of the largest markets for IT infrastructure spending. The company will provide managed services for on-premises infrastructure and its enterprise-class Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform. The rationale is to help clients make the transition from on-premise computing to the cloud, migrating their applications to cloud-based IT environments. Since many applications are mission critical, hybrid cloud environments will be instrumental in the conversion process and Virtustream said it will set out to provide a public cloud experience for its Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud service.

Nearly one-third of all IT infrastructure spending is going to cloud-related technologies, according to a research by The 451 Group, with cloud service buyers now investing on the application stack. Enterprise adoption is increasing, says the researcher, and buyers increasingly favour private and hybrid cloud infrastructure. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is increasingly being run on cloud systems, and enterprises will spend a total of $41.2B annually on ERP software by 2020, says The 451 Group.

Virtustream will incorporate EMC Information Infrastructure, VCE and VMware into one and will offer services using VMware vCloud Air, VCE Cloud Managed Services, Virtustream’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service and EMC’s Storage Managed Services and Object Storage Services offerings. VMware will establish a Cloud Provider Software business unit led by VMware’s senior VP Ajay Patel. The unit will incorporate existing VMware cloud management offerings and Virtustream’s software assets.

The business will integrate existing on-premises EMC Federation private cloud and take them into the public cloud, according to Virtustream. The aim is to maintain a common experience for developers, managers, architects and end users. Virtustream’s cloud services will be delivered directly to customers and through partners.

Virtustream addresses the changes in buying patterns and IT cloud operation models that both vendors are encountering now, said EMC CEO Joe Tucci. “Customers consistently tell us they’re on IT journeys to the hybrid cloud. The EMC Federation is now positioned as a complete provider of hybrid cloud offerings.”

Virtustream’s financial results will be consolidated into VMware’s financial statements beginning in Q1 2016.

EMC to acquire SAP specialist Virtustream in cloud push

EMC is buying SAP cloud specialist Virtustream

EMC is buying SAP cloud specialist Virtustream

EMC announced this week that it will acquire Virtustream, a firm specialising in deploying SAP software in the cloud, for $1.2bn.

The all-cash deal will see Virtustream, a specialist in SAP software automation and cloud on-boarding, form EMC’s managed cloud services business and operate alongside other EMC businesses in the Federation including VMware and Pivotal, which offer their own cloud services.

Up until now EMC only sold on-premise cloud storage systems largely tuned for supporting VMware customers, offering them a hybrid cloud capability, and the company said the acquisition will enable it to bolster its capabilities in both private and public cloud.

“Virtustream is an exceptional company and this is a critical and transformative acquisition for EMC in one of the industry’s fastest-growing and most important sectors,” said Joe Tucci, EMC chairman and chief executive officer.

“With Virtustream in place, EMC will be uniquely positioned as a single source for our customers’ entire hybrid cloud infrastructure and services needs. We could not be more delighted that Virtustream will be joining the EMC Federation family. It’s a game changer,” Tucci said.

EMC also said it plans to offer Virtustream’s xStream cloud management software, which is already integrated with VMware vSphere, to its partners.

“Virtustream has established itself as an industry leader and innovator for running mission-critical enterprise applications in the cloud,” said Rodney Rogers, Virtustream chairman and chief executive officer.

“We’re proud to be joining the EMC Federation where our combined capabilities, products and services will allow us to accelerate our vision of delivering the platform of record for enterprise systems, and address the complete breadth of cloud computing needs,” Rogers said.

Virtustream’s unique sales point is its cloud workload management and automation software, which will almost certainly see deeper integration with similar offerings across the federation (particularly VMware’s).

The acquisition is a pretty significant step for the storage specialist which more recently, with the exception of Virtustream, has seemed more interested in acquiring its way deeper into infrastructure than software; the move is part of its broader goal, announced last year, of becoming more cloud-centric.

Anise Asia taps Virtustream to help serve up SAP cloud software to SMEs

Anise Asia is working with Virtustream to deliver SAP applications to SMEs

Anise Asia is working with Virtustream to deliver SAP applications to SMEs

Malaysia-based cloud service provider Anise Asia has selected Virtustream to help the company offer SAP Business One software via the cloud to SMEs.

The partnership will see Anise Asia deploy Virtustream’s micro-VM technology in a bid to help it scale and bill for SAP cloud services, which will be aimed primarily at Malaysian SMEs.

“With SAP Business One Cloud, we answered our clients’ call for an ERP solution that was quick to deploy and easy to run and maintain. By moving those solutions into the cloud, we are addressing their demand for more flexibility, security and cost savings,” said Suhaimee Abu Hassan, founder and chief executive officer of Anise Asia.

“Virtustream is a trusted partner with vast SAP application and managed services expertise, and SAP certification that enables us to provide our customers with the best and most comprehensive set of services available in the market,” he said.

Virtustream said the move will help expand the reach of its cloud and software services, as well as its professional services unit.

“This is a strategic move for both companies,” said Simon Aspinall, president of service provider business, Virtustream. “Together, Anise Asia and Virtustream are able to address the growing demand for enterprise-class cloud services in the ASEAN market.”

Bernard Chiang, managing director of SAP Malaysia said: “Our partners are an extension of the SAP network and, quite often with their local knowledge and expertise, play the critical role of fulfilling the ‘last mile’ of implementation.”

Virtustream Adds Cloud Database Encryption, Key Management

Virtustream today added software-based “data at rest” encryption to its cloud services portfolio through a partnership with Vormetric, a leader in enterprise encryption and key management. With this extra protection, Virtustream’s xStream cloud management software and Virtustream cloud IaaS services provide highly secure and compliant solutions that enable enterprises, governments and service providers to safely run mission-critical applications in private, public and hybrid clouds.

The company will now offer Vormetric’s database and file encryption solution to customers needing an additional layer of security to satisfy internal sensitive data policies and compliance mandates regarding business data. For enterprises required to comply with regulatory guidelines and compliance frameworks such as NIST 800-53, DIACAP, FedRAMP, FISMA, ICD503, G-Cloud, CSA Recommendations, ISO27001, HIPAA/HITECH, PCI, SSAE16/SAS70 and other industry standards, this new service provides a sophisticated approach to protecting highly sensitive data in the cloud. Virtustream’s new data encryption offering allows enterprises mandating full data life cycle encryption to take advantage of the cloud.

The addition of Vormetric Data Security adds to the enhanced security measures in Virtustream clouds which include layered physical/virtual security, cloud-to-cloud encryption, core servers equipped with new Intel CPUs that support Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction Set (AES-NI) for optimal encryption efficiency, hardware-level authentication (Intel TXT), encrypted VPN (IPSEC and SSL), Key Escrow using Data Security Modules (DSMs), encryption in archive, GRC tools, two-factor authentication, and various additional security and compliance measures and reporting.

“File-level encryption is the most effective and flexible approach to cloud data security for enterprises concerned with regulatory compliance, protecting their IP and meeting contractual obligations around customer data,” said Bruce Johnson, vice president for worldwide sales and service operations at Vormetric. “By offering Vormetric Encryption through a pay-as-you-go model, Virtustream is providing comprehensive, built-in and transparent security for any database, that can follow customer data—whether it is in the cloud or a datacenter.”

As the Virtustream team evaluated security and encryption software to pair with its cloud solution, it found that many of the larger vendors focus primarily on end-user computing and encrypting whole drives, which only protects against specific threats and could not support a variety of deployment modes. Vormetric’s solution quickly emerged as the leader in enterprise class security, as it emphasized encryption at the file/folder level, transparently across all major database platforms. It also enables very granular separation of duties to allow for a variety of support models from zero client touch, to co-managed operations, to full key management by clients. Vormetric encryption ensures that there is no unauthorized data access from inside or outside an organization. In stress testing, Vormetric exceeded Virtustream’s performance expectations with a virtually indiscernible impact on application response time, excellent manageability and detailed logging of file access for Database Access Monitoring requirements (DAM) and Data Leakage Prevention (DLP) reporting.

Virtustream now stands as the first cloud provider to offer the Vormetric solution in a SaaS model with elastic, consumption-based pricing—services are priced per virtual CPU of each database server, as opposed to traditional perpetual licensing models.

“It can be challenging to get large enterprises to trust the cloud, so this partnership with Vormetric provides a significant security measure required to overcome that concern,” said Pete Nicoletti, director of security and compliance at Virtustream. “With Vormetric’s solution, we now have a database encryption security option suitable for customers who are required to comply with executive mandates or compliance frameworks but have not yet deployed encryption at their database or application layer. Adding this capability will make moving mission-critical data to the cloud a more feasible option for any enterprise looking for immediate risk reduction and cost savings.”

With this encryption service, Virtustream also offers and manages encryption of client databases at their location in the client’s datacenter before they even move the workload to the Virtustream cloud. This is a unique capability and allows customers that are concerned with protecting personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive information to achieve regulatory compliance and avoid potential data breach costs.

“By partnering with Vormetric, we are able to combine its nimble and powerful security solution with our cloud solution for increased data protection with high performance and low overhead,” said Mike Olson, vice president of operations and service delivery for Virtustream. “Together we offer customers a more secure, compliant cloud environment with reduced infrastructure costs, and increased performance and uptime.”