One of the major themes here at EMC World 2014 is the “Federated” platform. In essence, this refers to the collaboration and partnership for delivering a totally integrated next generation hybrid cloud computing (or in EMC’s parlance – 3rd platform) infrastructure suite to businesses. These components consist of storage and security (EMC II – for Information Infrastructure), infrastructure virtualization (VMware) and software and services for tapping into big data and analytics (Pivotal).
Riders On The (Cloud) Storm
The four horsemen, Joe Tucci, Pat Gelsinger, Paul Maritz and David Goulden, outlined their organization’s respective strategies and their joint cooperation but were also keen to point out their mutual independence and ongoing focus to continue developing their own separate partner ecosystems – hence this loosely coupled, confederation of players.
From an end-user perspective, the main take-away is that it’s all about choice. IT planners can either choose to deploy a Federated hybrid cloud platform leveraging the solution sets from all these organizations or mix and match these offerings with other vendor solutions based on their business needs.
Keeping Your Friends Close
All things being equal, there is certainly value and no doubt, some peace of mind, in adopting a hybrid cloud strategy that employs technologies from this semi-united front. For example, IT executives can take some measure of solace in the knowledge that the “cooperative” relationship from this triumvirate will help mitigate the risk of interoperability issues between their various components. Likewise, from a support perspective, it could be less likely there will be the usual “finger-pointing” issues that can often take place amongst disparate vendors of technology.
Storage Swiss Take
Certainly there are other players looking to provide third platform solutions, Google and Amazon being front and center examples. What EMC is trying to eliminate with the Federation, as Pat Gelsinger alluded to in his “Hotel California” analogy, is vendor or in this case “cloud” lock-in. But will the Federation be any better than its single company competitors? It will be interesting to see how well a Federated solution utilizing a VMware hypervisor would interoperate with competing hypervisor technologies. Could workloads be migrated between disparate hypervisors? Is it even on the roadmap? Questions to ponder as the riders move inexorably forward.
EMC is a client of Storage Switzerland