EMC will offer hosted storage

I am trying to catch up on the hodgepodge of press from EMC World…since there wasn’t a lot of blog coverage or live simulcasts :(

One thing I came across was the re-affirmation of the hosted storage solutions that EMC will offer through it’s partners. I mentioned hosted storagebefore and have wondered how EMC will play with the SaaS offerings that will be coming in the next few years. This isn’t a new approach or idea, but it is interesting how this approach will interact with Microsoft…or will lack integration with Microsoft. If you look at the acquisitions and read what the execs over there are telling us, Microsoft is looking to make a major play in the SaaS space…along with a minor on premise offering. So if Microsoft is going to move into the SaaS space and begin moving their apps out of your datacenters (including SaaS Storage)….where will you store your data? In some local facility where you are still paying to lease/purchase high end storage? Some storage cloud? Or on the SaaS providers’ high end storage? If you look at where the wins are today for combining hosted services like email and storage clouds….there are both success stories and failure stories.

The question that always comes up though is…. will customers outsource their apps and data to a third party? First, keep in mind we are not talking about just Small and Medium outsourcing here….we are talking about enterprise class services housed in another facility using high end storage. The expanse of customers who outsource their apps won’t want to keep their storage….and the customers who want to keep their storage won’t want to outsource their apps….So where is the line drawn? At what point is it more valuable to outsource both storage & apps and at what point is it more valuable to keep them in house? Clearly everyone thinks there is a line. Microsoft seems to be moving in the line, leaving a small number of in-house companies. EMC hasn’t really made clear where they think the line is though. Current directions and product offerings indicate they think the line leaves a larger number of in-house companies. I think it’s somewhere in the middle with some companies doing a little of both (for example, outsource spam filtering or mobile connectivity and keep the email servers in house). Even the basic email outsourcing can be difficult though. I have talked about Microsoft’s Hosted Messaging a bit, Keith McCall talks about the trade offs as well.

We’ve got a few years to see the result but it will be an interesting ride until we get there.

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