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EMC gets in the cloud-building game

Headlines: EMC wants to build your cloud and has put together cloud-building services going beyond storage. The services target cloud infrastructure, applications and desktop computing.

Storage channel news roundup for March 15 to March 26, 2012

Cloud building: EMC gets in the game 

EMC wants to build your cloud, and not just your storage cloud. Last week, the vendor officially launched a series of cloud-building services around infrastructure, cloud applications and end-user computing.

EMC’s cloud infrastructure services include storage and converged stacks combining storage, compute and networking to help build private, public and hybrid clouds. Cloud-optimized application services help customers decide which apps they need for the cloud. End-user computing services help customers move to a desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) model using applications such as VMware View and mobile platforms.

But while EMC announced its cloud-building services last week, it has actually been offering them for years through a series of acquisitions and expansions of its consulting practices. Some of these services -- particularly around end-user computing -- are outside of EMC’s usual enterprise focus and appear a better fit for VMware, which EMC owns a majority stake in.

Read the full story on EMC’s series of cloud-building services.

Which storage cloud is fastest?

Do you ever wonder how long it would take to move a dozen terabytes from one cloud provider to another, or even between two accounts in the same cloud?

Probably not, if you’re sane. But maybe you do if you have data in the cloud and think you might want to switch one day for performance or pricing reasons. And you definitely do if you’re a cloud storage vendor that promises service levels that might require nondisruptive cloud-to-cloud migration.

Nasuni fits in the latter category, so the vendor conducted extensive testing of what it considers the top three cloud providers based on the stress testing it conducted last year. The latest results are entered in its Bulk Data Migration in the Cloud report issued last week.

Listen to this podcast for peer advice on cloud storage services.

Tape NAS emerges, utilizing LTFS for file access 

The concept of Linear Tape File Sytem (LTFS) has given rise to the term tape NAS because it provides the ability to access files on LTO tape as if they were on disk.

The first product to truly take advantage of this capability is Crossroads Systems’ StrongBox archiving appliance. According to Jon Toigo, a storage consultant, frequent contributor and tape advocate, “The guy who wrote the book on [tape NAS] is Rob Sims at Crossroads Systems, who did the earliest designs I saw and who has created an elegantly integrated head with his StrongBox product. I have little doubt that other products will emerge in the market as this meme gains adherents.”

StrongBox offers a standard NAS interface, supporting NFS and CIFS. The appliance sits in front of a tape library and offers file-level access to the system using LTO-5 tape and LTFS.

Check out this tip for more on the LTO-5 format and LTFS media partitioning.

Quantum unveils virtual backup platform based on DXi, vmPro 

Quantum last week unveiled its virtual backup platform built on its DXi and vmPro appliances, which the vendor said can substantially reduce the size of data sets moved to the cloud.

The DXi V1000 is the first virtual backup appliance of the platform, which Quantum offers to partners building public cloud backup and disaster recovery services. Quantum also plans to offer its own branded cloud-based data protection services based on the platform.

The DXi V1000 uses DXi data deduplication software and works with Quantum’s vmPro virtual machine backup. The vmPro software is integrated with VMware vCenter software and the virtual appliances reside on a VMware hypervisor.

Check out this tip on virtual machine-based disaster recovery.

The storage vendor top five(s)

Gartner recently released research showing the volumes (in U.S. dollars) of storage arrays shipped by the top vendors.

It’s useful to look at just to know who the Big Five are, for example. But we’ll also compare Gartner’s research with’s 2011 storage Purchasing Intentions survey findings among UK IT departments, which provides a different top five.

Gartner’s estimates for 2011 revenues from “external disk systems” have EMC way out in front.

Read the full blog post on Gartner’s and’s top five lists.

Additional storage news

Check out our last storage channel news roundup.

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