Every building requires a strong foundation. Building out new virtual storage infrastructure is no different, especially if you’re planning on setting the stage for heavy future competition.
With that in mind, EMC Corp. is giving partners a few more tools to create a foundation for their customers’ virtual storage strategies on the front end. The Hopkinton-Mass.-based storage firm rolled out continuous availability advisory services, comprised of comprehensive assessment, cost/benefit analysis and roadmap development.
The aim? Paving the way for customers to further invest its EMC VPLEX virtual storage solutions.
The services, which are delivered in tandem with both EMC Global Services and EMC VPLEX virtual storage, set the stage for customers by helping them assess their environment, strengthen infrastructure, curb outages and find ways of getting back up and running quickly as part of an overarching continuous availability strategy.
Specifically, the services include assessments of customers’ storage and backup environments with a focus on recovery time and recovery point objectives. But they also aim to help organizations reduce risk associated with outages, and provide them with a comprehensive roadmap to ensure an “always on” environment.
Perhaps not surprisingly, EMC is touting ROI as the biggest competitive advantage. Specifically, the pallet of assessment and analysis services are intended to reduce CAPEX and OPEX costs, as well as reduce risk around outages, decrease server count for improved energy efficiencies and keep operations up and running — all of which translates to bottom line savings for organizations. Ultimately, that gives channel the ability bulk up value on the front end before customers take first steps in their continuous availability strategy.
“Globalization, competition and the ever increasing reliance on IT systems has driven an evolution in business. CIOs and business leaders have an urgent need to improve availability to meet market and competitive demands for an “always-on-and-available” IT infrastructure,” said Mike Koehler, EMC Corp. senior vice president, global services. “Whether customers want to transition to continuous availability for all their applications and data, or take a journeyed approach, EMC designed this new service to help clients assess their current position, strengthen their infrastructure, take full advantage of their existing technology, and improve their overall availability posture.”
Meanwhile, the launch of the assessment services indicates that EMC revving its engines to go toe-to-toe with competitors. The services follow a day after virtualization firm VMware announced plans to acquire virtual storage and optimization firm Virsto.
For EMC, VMware and others, investments in virtual storage will be strategic moves in the years to come in order to stay competitive as the virtualization market inevitably starts to slow.
For the last few years, virtualization has experienced pretty much unbridled growth as customers eager to jump on the bandwagon madly scrambled to virtualize critical components of their data centers, as well as desktop infrastructure and other IT components, to gain competitive advantage.
But now the vast majority of data centers are at least partially virtualized. And major players, such as Microsoft Corp. as well as Citrix and KVM that have emerged as serious challengers in the server virtualization space are not only increasing competition, but rapidly filling the market and reining in VMware’s unadulterated field day.
Now, as the rocket-like momentum for server virtualization starts to abate, VMware and others are eyeing other strategic niches — namely opportunities in virtual storage – for further investment.
Those bets are not misplaced. Exponential virtualization adoption and burgeoning software-defined data centers are revitalizing storage markets – so much so that IDC predicts that 69 percent of storage workloads will be virtualized in 2013.
That said, it’s an area that EMC is likely not about to surrender easily any time soon.
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