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Virtustream Storage Cloud: Amazon S3 Alternative? (Nope)

When Virtustream Storage Cloud launched today, plenty of pundits compared it to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). But frankly, Virtustream parent EMC Corp. doesn’t see it that way.

Instead, Virtustream Storage Cloud is somewhat akin to Apple iCloud, according to EMC officials. Think of it this way, EMC says: Virtustream Storage Cloud is a back-end cloud service for EMC gear,  the way iCloud is a back-end service for Apple devices. The same way Apple’s cloud enhances the end-user experience, Virtustream Storage Cloud will improve the overall experience with EMC’s infrastructure, officials said during EMC World 2016 briefings today.

Virtustream Storage Cloud: What Is It?

Virtustream Storage Cloud provides cloud extensibility for on-premises EMC storage, providing customers with tiering, long-term backup retention, and cold storage in the cloud, with single-source EMC support.

Virtustream Storage Cloud is built for the world’s largest enterprises, service providers, and public sector organizations, which need to secure, manage, and store mission-critical data in the cloud, EMC asserts.

A range of EMC platforms will connect to Virtustream Storage Cloud, including:

  • EMC Data Domain
  • EMC Data Protection Suite
  • EMC VMAX, XtremIO and Unity Systems
  • EMC Isilon

Additionally, organizations soon will be able to deploy Web-scale object storage for cloud-native applications, leveraging an S3-compatible application programming interface, EMC asserted. 

The Background

Th cloud services already has several exabytes of storage consumed, and many thousands of nodes across several continents. And up to “thirteen-nines” of availability built into it — like multi-geography RAID.

“We’re either the second or third largest object store in the market today as far as we can tell,” according to Virtustream Co-Founder Sean Jennings.

The service is available globally. U.S., Europe and Asia are already strong footprints, he added. “Virtuastream was originally built to address systems of record,” says Jennings. “There’s a whole other class of applications being written” that will require an object store. He sees ISVs as a next-generation channel partner that can write to the object store.

The E2E Journey

Jennings is an MIT drop out. One of his fraternity brothers is a professor at Stanford. His first job was more in the mainframe sector. By 2001 he started a company that was one of the first consultancies to the x86 virtualization market for VMware.

In 2009, a VC firm acquired Jennings’ company. The goal: Build a cloud that can run SAP. And that led to the Virtustream business.

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