EMC to bring Virtustream cloud to Australia

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EMC to bring Virtustream cloud to Australia
Rodney Rogers, Virtustream

Virtustream will launch an Australia cloud at the end of this year or early next year, the company's founder revealed at EMC World this week.

The hyperscale cloud provider, which was acquired by EMC in May 2015 for US$1.2 billion, already has eight regions around the world, centred largely in North America, as well as Europe.  

Company founder Rodney Rogers said that the Asia-Pacific was in his sights for the second half of this year, with Japan set to be first cab off the rank, followed by Australia in the last quarter of this calendar year or the first quarter of 2017.

One reason Japan is in front of the queue is because Virtustream already works with Japanese IT service provider CTC.

"Australia will be next," said Rogers. "Whether we hit Australia in Q4 or Q1 of 2017 I don't know yet and we are having that discussion with service providers in region around partnering."

Virtustream targets mission-critical workloads, with its heritage focused on SAP and recently expanding into Oracle. Some of its high-profile customers include Coca-Cola, Avon and Goodyear.

Joergen Jakobsen, EMC's vice-president and general manager of channel Asia Pacific and Japan, said that Virtustream still had a place despite the dominance of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

"The reality is not to go and compete directly with AWS. It is really a differentiated solution. They can provide something that the big hyperscale clouds today don't provide. It is really differentiated software that gives that SLA. We are not aware of companies that are going to AWS and Azure with their mission-critical aspects today, which is why Virtustream is so differentiated."

Virtustream differentiates itself from AWS and Microsoft Azure with guarantees of uptime and data durability that exceed the industry standard.

While most cloud providers offer 99.5 percent availability – or more than four hours of downtime per year – Virtustream's service-level agreements stand apart. The company promises five nines of uptime for availability (99.999 percent) for its Virtustream Enterprise Cloud and 13 nines of durability for the storage cloud.

The company used EMC World to reveal its cloud storage solution, though it said it was not looking to compete with market leader Amazon Web Services' S3 object storage service.

Jeremy Burton, EMC president of products and marketing, said: "We at EMC are not going to go and compete with Amazon S3. The Virtustream storage cloud is really a peer of Amazon S3."

Its new cloud storage aligns to the EMC product family as a means for offsite backup. Burton called it "the new tape", where users can "set a policy and that cold data will automatically migrate to the Virtustream storage cloud.

"For cold data, take advantage of cloud economics and your hot data is still on-premises. I think that is the most basic hybrid cloud environment that a lot of people will go for, especially the realm of backup," said Burton.

"People tend to keep these backup copies a long time. Back in the day they put those backups on tape, they put those tapes on a truck and they take the truck to some vault and bury it inside a mountain somewhere. The new way is we don't use tapes and trucks anymore, we use the internet. You set a policy, after so many days your backup copies migrate to the Virtustream storage cloud. It is the new tape vaulting, for want of a better word," he added.

But there is already a cloud option for EMC partners before Virtustream lands down under. "In the meantime, we have a strong service provider community," said Mark Fioretto, general manager of service providers, system integrators and alliances at EMC Australia & New Zealand.

"We have a program called Cloud Connect, so we have got integrators that don't have cloud infrastructure or capabilities are able to leverage this Cloud Connect program to utilise service provider capacity to on-sell as part of a hybrid type solutions."

Cloud Connect launched in Australia earlier this year with service provider partners Macquarie Telecom and Rackspace.

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