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EMC brings focus to recent acquisitions

Mar 23, 20043 mins
Data Center

* How EMC's $3.5 billion acquisitions will fit into its ILM strategy

EMC is sharpening its focus when it comes to Information Lifecycle Management. On March 16, the company rolled out its ILM strategy to a group of about 50 analysts at its corporate headquarters in Hopkinton, Mass. 

Here are some details about what we saw:

First, the pieces of all those acquisitions EMC has made in the last 18 months are coming together.  You may recall that the company went on a buying spree, picking up Prisa and Astrum (for pocket change), VMware (for much more than pocket change, no matter how deep your pockets), Legato (for more that $1 billion), and Documentum for $1.7 billion). 

Some $3.5 billion later, EMC now boasts software for storage-area network design (Prisa), SAN file monitoring and management (Astrum), server virtualization (VMware), storage management and automation (Legato), and content management (Documentum).

The Documentum and Legato software lie at the heart of EMC’s enterprise ILM offering, providing the data migration and information management capabilities necessary to move the data from one tier of storage to another.  These will operate under EMC’s ControlCenter management console. VisualSAN and VisualSRM (the Prisa and Astrum products) will address simpler storage requirements of mid-tier environments.

For me, the most interesting part of the discussion was the description of the services that that EMC will roll out as a part of its ILM solutions.  The company’s professional services group is delivering a comprehensive set of planning, building and management services aimed at helping organizations define, build out and maintain their ILM environments. 

The services group pays special attention to process, and provides assistance with setting ILM strategy, aligning infrastructure and applications, developing a tiered storage model, planning, and implementation services for policy development, migration and rollout. 

This group can certainly be forgiven if it takes an EMC-first approach when it goes into the field to provide assessment and recommendation services to customers, but still, it will be interesting to note how often the folks recommend non-EMC solutions. 

In the last year, EMC has gone to great lengths to position itself as an open software vendor, and has taken a strong public stance in its support of SMI-S and other open standards.  EMC now has an extensive list of software partners that can plug into its ControlCenter management console and provide a wide variety of supplemental services to EMC’s own offerings.  The degree to which EMC actively builds these third-party offerings into its overall ILM solution, including the guidance its professional services group gives, will be a good measure of how serious the company is about non-proprietary IT solutions.