EMC talks converged and hyperconverged shop

In the data storage marketplace, it is difficult to ignore the 800 pound gorilla not only because of its sheer size of the legacy install base it has built over many years, but also because of its financial clout to swallow-up any startup competitions – and even established ones.
In this regard, EMC is the 800-pound gorilla. These days with its Federated story, the EMC tentacle of influence extends likely beyond just the eight that the octopus may have. Data&StorageAsean spoke to Gil Shneorson, Vice President & General Manager VSPEX, EMC Corporation.
VSPEX is EMC’s answer to the converged – and even hyper-converged buzz – that is currently the spice of a lot of IT discussions. VSPEX is to IBM’s PureSystems is to the Cisco-NetApp love child – FlexPod.
DSA: Hyper-converged and converged solutions have been the subject of vendor marketing since 2012. In Southeast, are there customers that have moved their production systems to a converged (or hyper converged) model?
GS: We see an increasing customer preference for server-based SAN delivered as converged infrastructure in South East Asia, especially in Singapore. The reasons for this trend is a dramatic shift in customers’ buying preference for more compact, more manageable, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware with intelligent software capable of abstracting the underlying hardware and delivering on the promise of a software defined converged infrastructure.
Converged infrastructures are usually used for General Purpose IT applications, ROBO, VDI, Private/Hybrid Cloud, Test/Dev and departmental workloads.
DSA: Which vertical markets will lead/are leading the adoption and why?
GS: The public sector, education, tech/telecom, healthcare and insurance are the fastest adopters of converged infrastructure. As these verticals are rapidly evolving, they need faster, smoother and safer infrastructures. For example, when governments are launching e-government projects, they are looking at leveraging private cloud architectures with fast and easy hardware deployment for increased capacity.
DSA: What is EMC's value proposition to large enterprises/SMBS that would warrant serious consideration as a converged or hyper converged solutions provider?
GS: EMC differentiates itself from other vendors by offering a HCIA that includes additional value-add EMC software and globally consistent support experience that customers expect from EMC. The appliance also gives us the platform to feature other EMC technologies to offer customers more choice from a vendor they trust. By leveraging EVO:RAIL and EMC software, the new EMC VSPEX BLUE appliance will provide superior storage performance, a seamless appliance management experience, world-class data protection and unlimited cloud storage. The simplicity of deployment, operation, and maintenance as well as non-disruptive patch, update management capabilities that reduce planned downtime and maintain productivity set the appliance apart from other hyper-converged offerings in the market.
DSA: Given the direction toward outsourcing IT demands to the cloud, do SMBs still need to even think about converged/hyper converged infrastructure?
GS: The converged/hyper-converged market is experiencing an explosive growth. According to IDC, the converged infrastructure segment grew 68.5% from 2012 to a $1.4B market opportunity in 2013. This market is predicted to expand to $17.8 billion in 2016. EMC estimates the Hyper-converged Infrastructure total addressable market to be between $6B and $8B for 2014 with a CAGR of 39%.  The reason for this phenomenal growth is a shift in the way customers are consuming IT. Customers are increasingly looking for systems that are simple to manage, easy to scale, provide elasticity, don’t require advanced forecasting and deliver on the promise of software defined everything. EMC understands the trend and addresses these customer requirements. The market opportunity for converged/hyper-converged infrastructures will continue to grow as companies are increasingly looking at simplified deployments and fewer siloed solutions to improve date centre efficiency.
DSA: VCE (the Cisco-EMC-VMware) initiative is now wholly-owned by EMC (following the sale by Cisco of its shares in the venture). Isn't this just another way for EMC to lock-in customers?
GS: With VSPEX BLUE EMC expands its portfolio by offering increased customer choice.  With fast, simple deployment, comprehensive support and the agility to scale, VSPEX BLUE joins VCE Vblock Systems and VSPEX Reference Architectures as part of EMC’s comprehensive and trusted line-up of converged infrastructure portfolio.
VCE enables customers to standardize on a converged infrastructure solution, dramatically accelerating their journey to the cloud. Channel partners are seeking solutions that reduce complexity and simplify the deployment for their customers. EMC is addressing market requirements by offering best-of-breed solutions in converged infrastructure, offered exclusively via the channel.   

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