A Glimpse Behind the Cloud: Tour the EMC Durham Data Center

By Dave Scheffler — EMC Director of Data Center Services

Today, everyone is talking about IT in the cloud, but there still has to be a physical infrastructure on the back end on which to run the cloud. Welcome to EMC’s Durham Data Center.

Our 20,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility illustrates the most efficient way to implement the hardware your organization needs to run the cloud. It features one of the largest Vblock environments in existence. Its leading-edge green features demonstrate the savings that can be gained with a creative approach to environmental technology. And finally, our Data Center serves to showcase the full array of EMC’s products and solutions in the real world as we “drink our own champagne” in virtualizing, automating, and backing up some 12 petabytes of data.

Our virtual tour of the Durham Data Center gives you a high level understanding of how our data center works and a glimpse of EMC Cloud computing using Vblock architecture. It features purpose-built Vblocks which run our SAP-based, enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and Exchange environment, as well as 100 percent tapeless backup environments built on our Data Domain and Avamar technologies. With tens of thousands of VMs in our data center, our sales staff can tap in to Durham to demonstrate products and services in a real-life lab setting.

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Automated Storage: The Final Piece of IT Optimization

By Srinivasa Maguluri — Consultant Architect, Cloud Platforms, EMC IT

While today’s business organizations have gained tremendous IT agility and efficiency with technology that automates the management of their computer and network resources, handling growing data storage demands across multiple environments has remained a time-consuming challenge—until now.  Software defined storage opens the door for enterprises to achieve automated and on-demand management of their data storage resources to provide the final piece of IT optimization in the cloud.

I am part of a team at EMC IT that is currently incorporating a groundbreaking software defined storage platform into our IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model.

Amid the ongoing explosion of data creation and the demand to access and analyze such information quickly, enterprises have been struggling to manage their multi-vendor storage environments. Software defined storage turns physical storage arrays into pools of virtual shared storage resources so that users don’t have to care which platform their data is on. After all, business organizations are interested in data modeling and getting the data storage services they need, and not whether that information is in box A, box B or box C.

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The Era of Protecting By Enabling: Securing Enterprise File Sync

By Dave Martin — Vice President and Chief Security Officer

IT managers today are on the forefront of information delivery services. Users are demanding highly available and secure data transfers that are flexible enough to serve them on the road and multiple devices. The days of traveling physically to a secure location to access a file are fast becoming extinct.

Technology transformation has a major impact on how and where we share information, so it’s natural to expect it to also impact how we provide trust for that information. We stay connected across more devices than ever, in more places. It no longer makes sense to apply old methods of static controls and expensive locks, which mimicked our approach to security of physical locations, in a fast-paced, widespread environment. Traditional methods applied to modern data flows ultimately hinder even authorized processes and builds bottlenecks, which prompts users to seek out other service providers.

That is why new and more complete enterprise solutions have been developed to meet the requirements of the end-user as well as IT and Security; they are flexible enough to enhance whatever users have, wherever they are, and make enterprise file sync and sharing (EFSS) easy yet trusted. Better service means more visibility and control while delivering automated and safe EFSS. Users gain the access they demand and IT reduces risk, once the following three key elements are present:

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The EMC Durham Data Center Migration: Lessons in Solidifying Configuration Management First

By Stephen Doherty — Principal IT Project Manager

This is the third part in a series on EMC’s new Durham Cloud Data Center by Stephen. Click here to read part two.

Many organizations these days are facing the substantial task of migrating their traditional data centers to new, cloud-enabled data environments to improve efficiency and provide for growing space needs.

As you strategize to migrate your data center into the cloud, you should be ready to spend as much as 80 percent of your effort sorting out interdependencies between all your applications, databases and servers, which have probably become more and more entangled over time. (Read EMC Durham Cloud Data Center: Migration Planning and Program Management.)

As EMC IT learned in our recent migration of six petabytes of data and hundreds of mission critical applications to our new cloud data center, there is something you should do before you even begin the discovery process—invest in a streamlined configuration management system.

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Big Data Takes On Security

When it comes to IT security, we are at an opportunistic intersection.  Each and every day, we hear more and more about how the increasingly complex and aggressive threat landscape is impacting the security of companies around the globe.  However, Big Data strategies and technologies are rapidly approaching the intersection and arming us with the analytics we need to more proactively assess risk and identify threats.

As a leading global technology company, EMC has wholeheartedly embraced Big Data to get ahead of this.  If you’re interested in learning more, EMC is also hosting a webinar on “Using Greenplum to Deliver Big Data Analytics” on Tuesday, Sept. 18th @ 11am PT.  Sign up here:  http://bit.ly/SyLwWV

To Vblock, Or Not To Vblock

I recently had a conversation with Paul Divittorio, EMC IT’s Director of Enterprise Systems and Application Hosting Architecture. He’s the guy responsible for designing the next generation hosting platforms being installed in our production data centers here at EMC. When Paul is talking with EMC customers about our IT organization’s journey to Private Cloud, he’s often asked about Vblock. Where does EMC IT think it makes sense to use it? Where is EMC IT using it now? Continue reading

Getting More For Less By Virtualizing Oracle

My EMC colleagues and I often advise IT leaders to begin their own Private Cloud journey by virtualizing everything. That includes “Tier One” applications. When IT people hear “Tier One,” a few brands immediately pop into our heads. When I describe how EMC’s internal IT organization is aggressively building a Private Cloud, I’m not surprised when asked, “What about Oracle?” Continue reading

Why EMC IT Is Going “All In” On Private Clouds – Part 5

This is the final part of a series of posts outlining how our IT organization started its aggressive journey to private clouds. Previously, I described IT’s strategy shift, the trigger for its urgency, navigating through “cloud fog,” and the unusual path IT decided upon.

In this post, we’ll take a look at EMC IT’s overall strategy for actually making this journey. Continue reading

Why EMC IT Is Going “All In” On Private Clouds – Part 4

This is the fourth of a multi-part series exploring why our IT organization is aggressively transforming EMC’s corporate datacenters into Private Clouds. Previously, I described IT’s strategy shift, its newfound sense of urgency, and navigation through some “cloud fog.”

In this post we look at the unusual course EMC IT charted for its Private Cloud journey, and how the team approached selling its plan to our top execs. Continue reading

Chronicling EMC IT’s Private Cloud Journey

We at EMC have been talking about private clouds from the perspective of an IT vendor for quite some time. But EMC is also an IT consumer. Our IT organization supports over 40,000 internal users in 61 countries (and 20 languages), and many hundreds of business applications on over 6,000 server instances spanning five data centers worldwide. Never mind the thousands of terabytes of storage, tens of thousands of devices, and hundreds of thousands of network ports used to conduct business every day.

It comes as no surprise, then, to be asked: “is EMC’s IT organization doing this?” when discussing private clouds with enterprise customers. My answer: “of course.” That’s not hubris. EMC IT began its journey a few years ago. The evolution in EMC IT’s thinking and plans—leveraging virtualization as a technology building block, then taking it to the next level—reflects the evolution in thinking and plans that led us to our vision of private clouds and the VCE coalition.

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EMC IT’s Journey to the Private Cloud

Interested in learning what EMC IT is doing with virtualization? Join us each month as EMC IT documents its own virtualization journey. Join Sanjay Mirchandani, EMC Senior Vice President and CIO, as he introduces this exclusive, inside-look at EMC’s virtualization status from challenges faced through improvements made to future plans. This documentary series focuses on five key initiatives:
• Server virtualization
• Optimized storage and networks for a virtual environment
• Closed looped automated configuration management and monitoring
• VDI
• Cloud
The series is an ideal venue for customers and prospects to follow and learn best practices directly from EMC IT.