Category Archives: EMC

UK businesses at threat of losing IT talent

Weg - Zukunft - Entscheidung - Neuanfang - KonzeptEMC has released a new study highlighting UK businesses are at risk of losing IT talent due to underappreciation of technology in the business on the whole.

The Great Skills Exodus report claims decision makers are failing to prioritise IT as a business enabler, while 88% of IT workers believe the growth and success of their organisation is fundamentally reliant on technology. Frustrations from the IT department can be linked to a lack of transformation in the company they work for as 26% has witnessed an unwillingness to change the way ‘things have always been done’ from the management team.

“IT has got to become a key aspect of the business strategy, not merely a function of the overall business,” said Ross Fraser, UK&I Country Manager at EMC. “Technology is potentially the definitive aspect of any business but it can be seen as a supportive function by a substantial amount of organizations at the moment. Decision makers now have to rethink what they are doing as the process of IT and move with the times.”

While there has been encouraging progress in the adoption of cloud technologies in recent months, it would appear board level decision makers are not realizing the full potential of the technology itself. Cloud as a technology could be perceived as now penetrating the mass market, though the digitally enabled business model, required to activate cloud for its greatest potential, could be seen as lagging.

“If you want to modernize, automate and transform your infrastructure, whether than means on premise or off premise, you have to embrace the idea of new IT,” said Fraser. “There are a few companies where their future probably depends on how well they embrace future IT and I think that there is also a lack of understanding that if they don’t embrace it they will come under huge amounts of pressure and competitive threats because they are not competitive enough as a business.”

Among the concerns put forward by respondents in the survey, 20% feel held back by their organisation’s restrictions on implementing new technologies, 30% feel they have few opportunities to demonstrate their ability, and less than 20% believe their organization has a significant focus on IT as a means of driving innovation.

“The worst case scenario could be that they won’t exist, think about Kodak or Blockbuster,” said Fraser. “Now this is on an extreme level but it does demonstrate how disruptive the digital business model is. It could mean death by a thousand cuts, but if you don’t get the technology question right it could mean major problems in the long run. Every business has the digital challenge, but if they get it right from a technology perspective it creates a workforce which sees where they are working is an important aspect of the business, they start to see career progression and new opportunities.”

EMC believe a stronger and more consistent message throughout the organization on technology, would not only provide the organization with a more competitive position in the market, but also highlight the importance of IT as a function to the on-going success, ensuring employee retention would be increased.

“Technology is at the heart of business transformation and the IT team is ideally placed to help any organisation navigate new opportunities and threats in the market,” said Fraser. “With employment of IT professionals forecast to grow at 1.62 percent per year by 2020, businesses must ensure that they offer the most compelling career opportunities in order to retain the best staff, or risk losing as many as three quarters of their IT team in the coming months – something which would have a hugely detrimental impact on any organisation.”

EY and EMC announce strategic technology partnership

Red Hat and Fujitsu are partnering to develop OpenStack converged infrastructure solutions

EY and EMC have announced a formal strategic partnership over business technology services, building on a long-standing relationship between the two firms.

The partnership will offer a number of different services to clients ranging from enterprise mobility management, hybrid cloud enablement, governance risk & compliance and cyber security.

“Working together as an integrated team, combining advisory services and innovative products, we will be able to connect on both existing and future initiatives to help our clients maximize their technology investments and drive better  business outcomes,” said Mark Weinberger, Chairman and CEO at EY. “The alliance will further expand EY’s digital capabilities and range of services offered to clients.”

Addressing growing trends in the industry, security will form one of the central pillars of the partnership. One of the first offerings from the team is Isolated Recovery, an offering which protects company data from cyber-attacks. The team claim a combination of cyber, business impact analysis and resiliency services, will provide a more secure environment for company data.

The partnership will also include Identity Access Management Monitoring (IAM) for single sign on, which will utilize real-time monitoring technologies. Security monitoring is not something that enterprise organizations traditionally engage in, though it is a growing trend as organizations aim to reduce risk when moving through to a cloud environment.

The alliance builds on EMC’s trend of partnering with major technology players to deliver alternative solutions. Last month, EMC and VMware jointly launched a family of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances (HCIA) for VMware environments.

The VxRail appliance family combines EMC’s data services and systems management with VMware’s software such as vSphere and Virtual SAN.

EMC claims it can make data centres All Flash and no downtime

EMC quantum leapAs EMC prepares for its takeover by Dell it claims it has made ‘significant changes’ to its storage portfolio, converting its primary offering to All Flash, modernising array pricings and introducing a new category of flash storage, DSSD D5 at its Quantum Leap event.

EMC’s flagship VMAX All Flash enterprise data services platform and its new DSSD D5 rack-scale flash system are part of a new drive to persuade data centres to use flash technology as their primary storage medium. The vendor claims that by 2020 all storage used for production applications will be flash-based with traditional disk relegated to the roll of bulk storage and archiving.

The new all-flash portfolio will be used by databases, analytics, server virtual machines and virtual desktop infrastructures, says EMC, which predicts that the need for predictable performance with sub-millisecond latencies will persuade data centres to make the extra investment. ENC’s new XtremIO is designed for high-end enterprise workloads, while VMAX All Flash will consolidate mixed block and file workloads that require up to 99.9999% availability, as well as rich data services, IBM mainframe and iSeries support and scalable storage growth up to four petabytes (PB) of capacity.

The DSSD D5 Rack-Scale Flash, meanwhile, is for the most performance-intensive, traditional and next-generation use cases, such as getting microsecond response times on Oracle and Hadoop based analytics jobs. Meanwhile, the new VNX Series arrays represent an entry level all-flash offering which starts at $25,000.

EMC announced that the VMAX array has been re-engineered to offer two new all-flash models: the EMC VMAX 450 and EMC VMAX 850. Both are designed to capitalise on the performance of flash and the economics of today’s latest large-capacity SSDs.

Finally, EMC also announced the DSSD D5 which, it claimed, will be a quantum leap in storage technology, with its new Rack-Scale Flash. TEMC said the new invention will be used in high production applications such as genetic sequencing calculations, fraud detection, credit card authorisation and advanced analytics.

EMC claims it will create a ten fold surge in performance levels. The storage hardware is capable latency of 100 microseconds, throughput at 100 GB/s and IOPS of up to 10 million in a 5U system. EMC DSSD D5 will be generally available in March 2016.

EC clears acquisition of EMC by Dell – won’t distort competition

Dell office logoThe European Commission has approved the acquisition of storage and software giant EMC by PC and server maker Dell.

In a statement Commissioner Margrethe Vestager declared that the deal meets the criteria of the EU’s Merger Regulation. The strategic importance of the data storage sector meant that the EC was able to approve Dell’s multi-billion dollar takeover of EMC within a short space of time, according to Vestager, who thanked the Federal Trade Commission for close cooperation.

The Commission assessed the effects of the transaction on the market for external enterprise storage systems. The Commission also investigated the risk that the merged entity could attempt to restrict access to VMware’s software for competing hardware vendors. The Commission is convinced there will be no adverse effects on customers, according to Vestager.

The Commission found that the merged entity has a moderate market share in the market for external enterprise storage systems and the increment brought about by the merger is small. The new Dell/EMC entity will continue to face strong competition from established players, such as Hitachi, HP, IBM and NetApp, as well as from new entrants, it said.

Despite VMware’s ‘strong market position’ in server virtualization software, the available evidence led the EC investigators to conclude that the merged entity would have neither the ability nor the incentive to shut out competitors. The likes of Citrix, Microsoft and Red Hat can give it plenty of competition in the server virtualisation market, the EC has judged, and it predicted that the EMC/Dell hybrid won’t have things its own way in new technology markets.

Since customers typically multi-source from more than one server virtualization software provider and VMware’s approach has traditionally been hardware and software-neutral, it offers work opportunities to a large number of vendors. Equally, in the server market, Dell has strong competitors that will continue to operate either in partnership with VMware or with third party virtualisation software providers.

The combination of Dell’s and EMC’s external enterprise storage systems products won’t have an impact on competition given the number of alternatives to VMware’s software.

The Commission also asked whether the merged entity could shut competitors out from the virtualization software used for converged and hyper-converged infrastructure systems. Here it also found there were no concerns raised. The merger, when first reported in BCN in October 2015, was valued at $60 billion.

EMC and VMware launch hyperconverged VxRail appliance

EMC2Storage vendor EMC and virtualiser VMware have jointly launched a family of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances (HCIA) for VMware environments. The plug and play gadgets are meant to simplify infrastructure management in departments experiencing high growth.

The VxRail appliance family combines EMC’s data services and systems management with VMware’s software such as vSphere and Virtual SAN. The intention is to create software defined storage natively integrated with vSphere in a single product family with one point of support. The all-flash VxRail appliances could simplify VMware customer environments and boost performance and capacity in a simple plug and play operation, the vendors claim.

The appliances were jointly engineered to integrate virtualisation, computing, storage and data protection in one system with a single point of support, say the vendors. Since they can be aggregated at great scale, the estate of appliances can grow from supporting two virtual machines (VMs) to thousands of VMs on a ‘pay-as-you-grow’ basis.

Starting prices for small and medium businesses and remote offices are around $60,000, with options for performance intensive workloads to be catered for with up to have 76 TB of flash. The appliances will run EMC’s data services including replication, backup and cloud tiering at no additional charge. In addition RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines, Virtual SAN, vSphere Data Protection and EMC Data Domain are all available.

Meanwhile VCE VxRail Manager will provide hardware awareness with timely notifications about the state of applications, VMs and events. VxRail Appliances can use EMC cloud tiering to extend to more than 20 public clouds such as VMware vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Virtustream. These can provide an additional 10TB of on-demand cloud storage per appliance.

“The new appliances put IT organisations on a path to eliminating complexity and collapsing cost structures,” said Chad Sakac, President of the Converged Platforms division of EMC.

According to ESG research on hybrid cloud 70% of IT respondents plan to invest in HCI in the next 24 months. The new appliance family is due out n Q2 2016.

The easiest way to explain the cloud to your boss

one plus one cloud dealToday, approximately 90 per cent of businesses are using at least one cloud application. Yet, only 32 per cent of these companies are running more than a fifth of their applications in the cloud. The obvious conclusion is that many company executives haven’t quite grasped what the cloud can do for them, which is why it is time for IT organisations to take an active role in explaining the cloud to the business.

One of the predominant issues preventing enterprises from realising the benefits of the cloud is their limited understanding of the technology. In simple terms, cloud computing can be defined as a computing environment consisting of pooled IT resources that can be consumed on demand. The ultimate benefit of the approach is that applications can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection.

However, even more commonly, executives are interested in hearing business cases for the implementation of cloud. Now, let’s walk through some of the most compelling pro-cloud arguments with comments from industry experts.

The money argument

“But can we afford it?”

Luckily for you, the numbers are on your side.

As David Goulden, CEO of EMC Infrastructure, explains in a recent interview: “An immediate driver of many implementations is cost reduction. Both McKinsey and EMC analyses have found that enterprises moving to hybrid cloud can reduce their IT operating expense by 24%. That’s a significant number, and in essence can fund the people and process changes that yield the other benefits of hybrid cloud.”

But where do those cost reductions come from? Goulden explains that while lower hardware, software, facilities and telecom costs account for some of the savings, by far the most substantial reductions can be made in OPEX budgets: “The automation of hybrid cloud dramatically reduces the amount of labour needed to deploy new application software, and to monitor, operate, and make adjustments to the infrastructure. Tasks that used to take days are performed in minutes or seconds.”

The agility issue

“But how will it increase our agility?”

When it comes to cloud computing, agility is commonly used to describe the rapid provisioning of computer resources. However, as HyperStratus’ CEO Bernard Golden suggests, the term can be used to refer to two entirely different advantages: IT resource availability and responsiveness to changes in the business.

Furthermore, he argues that although internal IT availability is necessary for success, the ultimate aim of cloud computing efforts should be speeding business innovation to the market: “the ability to surround a physical product or service with supporting applications offers more value to customers and provides competitive advantage to the vendor. And knowing how to take advantage of cloud computing to speed delivery of complementary applications into the marketplace is crucial to win in the future.“

The security concern

“But will our information be safe?”

Short answer: that’s completely up to your cloud. The beauty of a well-designed hybrid cloud is that it allows enterprises to allocate their applications and data between different cloud solutions in a way that brings out the benefits of all and the drawbacks of none.

However, as Tech Republic’s Enterprise Editor Conner Forrest explains in a recent article: “One of the raging debates when it comes to cloud security is the level of security offered by private and public clouds. While a private cloud strategy may initially offer more control over your data and easier compliance to HIPAA standards and PCI, it is not inherently more or less secure. True security has more to do with your overall cloud strategy and how you are using the technology.” Thus, a haphazard mix of public and private doesn’t automatically make a hybrid cloud.

The customer angle

“But how will it benefit our customers?”

More recently, the C-suite has woken up to the reality that cloud applications can help them attract and retain customers. A good example of this comes from the University of North Texas, whose CFO Rama Dhuwaraha explains: “The typical student on campus today has about six different devices that need Internet access for parking services we offer, dining, classroom registration and paying bills online. During enrolment, most of them don’t want to go find a lab and then enrol – they want it at their fingertips. We have to extend those services to them.”

Overall, the value proposition of a customised cloud solution should be pretty clear. However, as Goulden emphasises: “Most companies simply don’t realise how quickly they can implement a hybrid cloud, or how much money and capability they’re leaving on the table until they have one”. Therefore, as IT professionals, it is our responsibility to take this message forward to the business and develop cloud strategies that serve the interest of the enterprise.


Written by Rob Bradburn, Senior Web Operations Manager, Digital Insights & Demand, EMC – EMEA Marketing

VMware lay offs will herald year of mass global IT redundancies says analyst

business cloud network worldCloud driven IT industry convergence will result in 330,000 job losses across the globe in 2016, according to one analyst.

The prediction come from IT market watcher Trip Chowdhry at Delaware based Global Equities Research, following the speculation that VMware is to make 5% of its workforce (around 900 staff) redundant as VMware’s parent company EMC merges with Dell.

The job losses at VMware, according to a report in Fortune magazine, will be a consequence of a restructure of VMware in order to make the merger deal look more advantageous to investors.  VMware is just one of a number of EMC Federation companies, a roster that also includes RSA Security, VCE and Pivotal. There has been criticism, according to Fortune, that Dell’s owner Michael Dell Cynics was potentially getting VMware at a bargain basement price, since its stock was being valued on the basis of the parent company, when its own stock has outperformed EMC shares. The redundancies may help give the investors a better deal as the convergence of the IT giants continues, said the report.

According to analyst Chowdhry this is a pattern that will be repeated throughout 2016, as the boom in cloud computing drives IT industry consolidation. The shift to cloud computing, said Chowdhry, will make much of the IT expertise unnecessary, particularly those who were once needed to support back-end operations. Around 70% of the work done in IT goes on at the back end, Chowdhry told clients in a briefing. As a result, the number of back end staff across the IT industry who face redundancy in 2016 could hit 330,000, he said.

According to Chowdhry’s figures the highest percentage of losses will be at HPE, HP, Yahoo and Yelp, all of which can expect to have to let 30% of their staff go. Losses at the two HP spin off would amount to 72,000 and 86,000 redundancies respectively. IBM, facing 25% staff layoffs in 2016, would put 95,000 IT staff back onto the employment market. Even Cisco, Juniper, Oracle and Microsoft staff would face redundancies, shedding a collective 80,000 staff between them.

The good news, however, is that non back-end IT jobs, involving the other Functional and Customer Domain responsibilities, are to boom. However, Chowdhry warned, these jobs can’t be immediately filled as the education is unable to create the skills in time.

Dell EMC takeover raises questions about Virtustream and Perot Systems

Dell office logoTwo new developments have been reported this week as Dell and EMC attempt to resolve the $67 billion question of how to finance one of the biggest mergers in the history of technology.

Cloud software giant VMware has withdrawn from a previous commitment to the Virtustream cloud service venture with parent company EMC, it has disclosed to regulators.

The new direction comes as Dell, the proposed new owner of EMC and a potentially controlling stakeholder in VMware, is allegedly looking at new options to finance the $67 billion deal. According to sources quoted in Re/code Dell is looking for a buyer for its $5 billion valued technology outsourcing business Perot Systems. The funds raised would help reduce the level of debt Dell must take on if the EMC takeover is to proceed.

In November, BCN reported how questions of financing of Dell’s takeover of EMC could scupper the deal, which BCN first revealed in October. A week after the deal was announced, EMC and VMware unveiled plans for a joint, equal partnership to create cloud service Virtustream, but unease about the announcement wiped 25% off VMware share values, according to some analysts. Since Dell and its backers were planning to use share value as a means of funding the transaction the decline in stock market value threatened to undermine the funding of the deal.

Shareholders in both EMC and VMware are allegedly unhappy with the idea of the Virtustream project, which appeared to be a “dumping ground” for money-losing assets, it’s claimed.

VMware shares fell 25 cents to $58.80 by mid-morning Monday.

Meanwhile, as Dell seeks to raise $10 billion in cash to lighten the potential burden of debt, it is allegedly courting suitors for Perot Systems, an outsourcing outfit it bought in 2009 for $3.9 billion.

According to reports, Dell has been in talks with India-based Tata Consultancy Services, French outsourcing giant Atos, New York based IT services company Genpact and Canadian IT firm CGI. Talks with Tata stalled on a disagreement about the valuation or Perot Systems, say reports.

According to Re/Code sources Dell began trying to sell Perot Systems three months ago and the cash realised would be a crucial enabler for the EMC acquisition. However, a range of potential buyers who were sounded out, including IBM, Infosys and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, have passed on the opportunity.

EMC launches new open source tech for the software defined datacentre

EMC2EMC is launching RackHD and revised version of CoprHD and REX-Ray in its quest to be a top open source influence on tomorrow’s software defined datacentre industry.

RackHD is a hardware management and orchestration software that promises to automate functions such as the discovery, description, provisioning and programming of servers. EMC says it will speed up the process of installing third platform apps by automatically updating firmware and installing operating systems.

Meanwhile, version 2.4 of storage automator CoprHD was improved with help from Intel and Oregon State University. It can now centralise and transform storage from multiple vendors into a simple management platform and interface, EMC claims.

The updated version of storage orchestration engine REX-Ray 0.3 has added storage platform support for Google Compute Engine in addition to EMC Isilon and EMC VMAX.

These products are aimed at modern data centres with a multi-vendor mix of storage, networking and servers and an increasing use of commodity hardware as building blocks of software defined hyperscale infrastructure. In these cases the use of low-level operating systems or updating firmware and BIOS across numerous devices is a cumbersome manual task for data centre engineers, says EMC. RackHD was created to automate and simplify these fundamental tasks across a broad range of datacentre hardware.

According to EMC, developers can use the RackHD API as a component in a larger orchestration system or create a user interface for managing hardware services regardless of the underlying hardware in place.

Intel and Oregon State University have joined EMC’s CoprHD Community as the newest contributors to the storage vendor’s open source initiative. Intel is leading a project to integrate Keystone with CoprHD, allowing the use of the Cinder API and the CoprHD API to provide block storage services.

“We discovered how difficult it was to implement any kind of automation tooling for a mix of storage systems,” said Shayne Huddleston, Director of IT Infrastructure at Oregon State University. “Collaborating with the CoprHD community will allow us avoid vendor lock-in and support our entire infrastructure.”

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.