EMC’s ECS 2.2: Cloud With Benefits

has introduced an updated version of its object offering  — which Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) defines as a architecture that manages data as objects, as opposed to other storage architectures like file systems, which manage data as a file hierarchy, and block storage, which manages data as blocks within sectors and tracks — Elastic Cloud Storage (v2.2). EMC defines ECS as a , scale object and HDFS storage platform which has the ability to store billions of objects, while delivering data anywhere to any device (a comprehensive, object storage platform that delivers a 65% lower than providers). In other news, EMC also announced the results of a study.

Starting life as Project Nile, ECS was unveiled in May 2014, offering a mere 9-28% TCO advantage over public cloud. New and enhanced features in v2.2 include:

-Software Defined Storage: deploy ECS on certified hardware, or as a turnkey ;

-a multipurpose platform: native support for multiple protocols (like AWS S3, OpenStack, Swift, HDFS), and native NFS to support file data without the need of a gateway;

-smart storage: you can search metadata across petabytes of data without a dedicated database;

-low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): this release further lowers the storage overhead for cold archive scenarios; a new single pane of glass view provides complete system health to help reduce operational costs; and,

-data at rest encryption support to protect business-critical data; ECS also fully complies with SEC 17 a-4(f) and CFTC 1.31(b)-(c) regulations.

“The main thing to know: as far as object storage systems go… we have every kind of feature that every one of the object systems might have,” Manuvir Das, SVP, Advance Software Division, EMC’s Emerging Technologies Division, told IT Trends & Analysis. Then there are the capabilities like NFS that are unique and raise the bar for the competition… “you get all the benefits of object storage for free.”

Cloud spending is dominating most of the current research headlines, and with numbers like these, it’s easy to understand why:

-worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 16.5% in 2016 to total $204 billion, up from $175 billion in 2015;

-the highest growth will come from cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service [IaaS]), which is projected to grow 38.4%;

-cloud advertising, the largest segment of the global cloud services market, is expected to grow 13.6% to reach $90.3 billion;

-public cloud services will grow at a 19.4% annual rate over the next five years, from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019 (six times the growth rate of enterprise IT spending as a whole and will cause cloud spending to double during that time period);

-cloud services and spending on private cloud infrastructure has grown from 28% of the overall IT budget in 2014 to 32.9% in 2015, or one-third of IT spending (while spending on the non-cloud, traditional environment have declined by 1.1%);

-global cloud IT infrastructure, incorporating public and private, hit $7.6 billion in the third quarter of 2015; and,

-HP, with a 15.7% market share in 3Q15 and revenue of $1.18 billion, remains the top dog in cloud infrastructure, with Dell and Cisco tied for second, and EMC in fourth.

As for the object storage market, 24% of organizations report already using it extensively, and 44% are leveraging the technology to some extent. According to ESG’s recent survey, organizations exceeding 50% growth in disk-based storage capacity on a year-over-year basis are nearly five times likelier than those growing at 20% or less annually (53% versus 11%) to be using object storage extensively.

Cost reduction is driving both adoption and consideration of object storage, but it is also the most important factor for 25%r of organizations in the form of reduced CapEx (13%) or OpEx (12%). Two other factors weighing strongly in the desirability of object storage are: simplified management and the fact that object storage—rightly or wrongly—is perceived as a foundational element for a cloud-based storage solution.

As compelling as ESG’s (and EMC’s) numbers are, the fact is that the ‘object storage market gains remained lackluster.’ The segment has yet to capture significant industry market traction, although the research company believes the ‘increased pressure on the storage infrastructure to scale bigger, protect longer, and keep more data active in more locations will likely continue to drive IT organizations to seek to deploy an architecture that can cost-effectively solve not only the scale challenges of today, but also those of the next decade or two in the future. For many organizations that architecture is object storage.’

The initial release of ECS was bare-bones object storage targeted at early adopters, said Das. Released last June, v2.0 was the first version he would term “ready for the the enterprise”, while 2.2 builds on customer demands and market trends.

In total, EMC has shipped more than 1 exabyte of object storage. “I think that is better than the revenue number… we are into the triple digits of millions of revenue.”

There are three primary use cases or buckets: enterprises looking for an archive platform and a cheaper on-premise storage solution, with the added benefit of being able to access ECS directly through APIs for next-generation applications; service providers who are not of the scale of the big public vendors… but do need competitive storage solutions; and, the born-in-the-cloud kind of company looking for more control of SLAs and better economics than their existing storage solutions.

“The price of acquisition for the object storage system is so low… compared to the price per gigabyte in the public cloud… that it leaves ample room… well below the cost of public cloud storage.” The second big attraction is service. “Public clouds don’t have an SLA they can offer the customer in terms of support.”

In other news from EMC, the company claimed that hybrid cloud accelerates digital business progress, and can even help fund it, according to an EMC-sponsored IDG study released a week ago.“I don’t think I’m going too far in saying that our new digital world is a massive opportunity for the companies that embrace it, but a potential extinction-level event for the ones that don’t,” stated EMC’s Jeremy Burton, president of products and marketing.

The study reported that 92% of IT and business leaders said their organization’s competitive strategy calls for digital business initiatives, and 90% called digital business “a top IT priority” for the next one to three years, with 44% calling it their number-one priority. The key drivers are:  improving the customer experience a critical or very important goal (87%); acquiring new customers (86%), increasing innovation (82%), and enabling real-time business decisions and operations (81%).

Author: Steve Wexler

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