Inform: EMC plays up ties to VMware, Cisco

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Inform: EMC plays up ties to VMware, Cisco

EMC's Australian managing director will spend today spreading a message that was not so long ago taboo - how EMC's part-ownership of VMware gives the storage company leverage over its competitors.

EMC Australia managing director David Webster's keynote at today's Inform customer event in Sydney focuses on the partnership between EMC, VMware and Cisco.

VMware in particular, partially owned by EMC, has traditionally been cautious not to express that it would favour its parent company over any other hardware player.

But Webster isn't shy about the link at all.

"The market is looking at VMware, Cisco and EMC and see this as a platform to build internal and external clouds," he told iTnews in the lead-up to the EMC Inform event.

"There are a lot of conversations around taking current internal infrastructure and using the virtualisation technology to create an internal cloud, to deliver IT as a service to the organisation.

"I can't remember the last time we had multiple vendors, three world leaders in technology research and development, working together like this to take a technology to the world," he said.

Webster insists that "VMware on EMC is a fundamentally different proposition than on any other platform."

"The relationship is multi-level," he said. "There is the question of ownership, of joint research and development, of joint go-to-market.

 "Look at who owns VMware," he said. "It is owned by EMC, Cisco, Intel and the public. So one, there is a close financial link between these companies. The technology direction of VMware is influenced by EMC, Cisco and Intel as their representatives sit on the board of VMware."

Second, Webster said the three companies share research and development resources to ensure smooth integration between their products.  

"Cisco's new Unified Computing solution utilises a lot of core VMware technology, EMC builds some of the core technology VMware uses - the multipath data management technology in VMware's products is based on EMC's Powerpath technology, the Data Leakage Prevention technology is based on technology from RSA, an EMC company," he said.

Webster said the technology partnership between the three companies is "manifested in their latest products" - Cisco's Unified Computing, EMC's V-Max and VMware's vSphere.

"They have all been designed from the ground up to build the data centre of the future," he said.

Finally, from a go-to-market perspective, an Australian reseller can "buy all the EMC, VMware and Cisco kit they like from one distributor - Ingram Micro," Webster said. "The reseller community can leverage the co-marketing of all three companies from one source."

Webster acknowledges that Cisco and VMware have a broader range of partners, but insists that the three combined represents the best investment.

"There will be other spinning-disk companies wanting to position themselves as being able to deliver cheaper or faster solutions," he said. "The reality is that the game has changed - it is no longer about price per gigabyte, its about how you manage information in the virtual environment."

What do you think of the partnership? Is it a game-changer? Will this story end up evidence in an anti-trust trial? Or is VMware running just as well on your IBM or your NetApp or your HDS Array? Let us know using the comments below.

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