EMC (EMC) shares have rallied recently on news that Paul Singer’s activist hedge fund Elliott Management has accumulated a stake worth over $1 billion in the storage giant. According to unconfirmed reports, the fund expects to unlock shareholder value by splitting up the company and selling its parts, including its stake in its listed cloud and virtualization software unit VMware (VMW).
In the previous part of this series, we saw that EMC currently operates through a “Federation” structure consisting of EMC Information Infrastructure (or EMCii), Pivotal, and VMware Virtual Infrastructure. EMC owns an 80% stake in VMWare. Pivotal, which is a big data and cloud computing company, is a joint venture of EMC and VMware. EMCii further operates in three segments namely Information Storage, Information Intelligence Group, and RSA Information Security. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger used the phrase “Tightly aligned, loosely coupled” to best explain EMC’s strategy at the May EMC World event.
EMC Information Infrastructure
Under “Information Storage,” EMC offers a comprehensive portfolio of enterprise storage systems and software—including high-end storage products EMC VMAX and mid-tier EMC VNX unified storage and a portfolio of backup products for enterprise. EMC’s two additional storage families, EMC Isilon and EMC Atmos, are specifically designed to handle vast quantities of unstructured data.
EMC said in its annual filing that as the foundation of an information infrastructure within traditional data centers, virtual data centers, and cloud-based IT infrastructures, EMC storage systems can be deployed in storage-area networks (or SAN), networked-attached storage (or NAS), unified storage combining NAS and SAN, and object storage or direct-attached storage environments. Traditional storage giants such as EMC, IBM (IBM), NetApp (NTAP), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are seeing intense competition from storage upstarts such as Nexenta, Nimble (or NMBL), Nutanix, Violin Memory (or VMEM), and PureStorage.
“RSA Information Security” is EMC’s security division. It provides intelligence-driven security solutions. It offers solutions related to identity assurance, fraud detection, data protection, security analytics and Governance, Risk and Compliance (or GRC) capabilities, and expert consulting and advisory services. Last year, the company released RSA Security Analytics for Big Data-driven security monitoring solutions. It also introduced RSA Authentication Manager 8—a major update to its flagship two-factor authentication software—to manage RSA SecurID tokens, users, and resources across physical sites. RSA also announced an expanded technology and threat intelligence sharing partnership with Juniper Networks (or JNPR). Earlier this year, RSA and Pivotal released a reference architecture for Big Data analytics to detect and investigate advanced threats.
“The Information Intelligence Group” (or IIG) helps EMC’s customers to collaborate, manage, access, distribute, and control information securely from anywhere, at any time, and from any device. It provides solutions on enterprise content management solutions and its full-service capabilities include Consulting, Education, Support, and Managed Services OnDemand. The IIG portfolio comprises:
- EMC Documentum xCP for building dynamic business and case management solutions, and can serve as an action engine for Big Data
- EMC Captiva for intelligent enterprise capture, EMC Document Sciences for customer communications management,
- EMC SourceOne Kazeon for eDiscovery
- the EMC Documentum platform for creating, managing and deploying business applications and solutions,
- the EMC OnDemand private cloud deployment model for enterprise-class applications
- EMC Syncplicity, an enterprise-grade file sync and share solution that provides mobile editing, mobile access to file shares, and group level policies for enterprise file sync and share. Syncplicity was recently positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s very firstMagic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing. Other competitors in the Magic Quadrant include Box, Dropbox, Microsoft (or MSFT), Google (or GOOG), Citrix (or CTXS), and Accelion.
VMware Virtual Infrastructure
VMware Virtual Infrastructure, which is represented by EMC’s majority equity stake in VMware, is a leader in providing virtualization infrastructure solutions. VMware and its product and service offerings are discussed in detail in the next part of this series.
EMC acquired the privately-held provider of agile software development services and tools, Pivotal Labs, in 2012. In the 2Q13, both EMC and VMware announced the spin off a new company Pivotal, which united strategic technology, people, and programs from EMC and VMware, including Greenplum, Cloud Foundry, Spring, Cetas, Pivotal Labs, GemFire, and other products from the VMware vFabric Suite. With these assets, Pivotal has built a new platform comprising next-generation data fabrics, application fabrics, and a cloud-independent platform-as-a-service (or PaaS). It offers services and support for open-source projects such as Cloud Foundry and Hadoop. General Electric Company (or GE) also invested ~$105 million in Pivotal, representing a 10% equity stake. Both companies entered into a broad research and development and commercial agreement to create new analytic services and solutions for GE’s customers. According to reports, EMC owns a 60% stake in Pivotal.
Cloud Foundry is an open source Platform as a Service project, driven and owned by Pivotal for deploying, managing, and scaling cloud applications. It supports VMware and Amazon Web Services. It intends to support platforms such as OpenStack, Microsoft, and Google Compute, giving customers a choice while benefiting from innovation across the ecosystem. IBM has supported the project and other members of the Cloud Foundry Foundation include HP, Rackspace, and SAP. In late 2013, Pivotal acquired Xtreme Labs, a software development company, to strengthen its mobile application development capabilities. Pivotal expects to benefit from the growth in PaaS market as the International Data Corporation (or IDC) forecasts the worldwide public PaaS market to grow to over $14 billion in 2017.
For more on cloud computing basics, please read the Market Realist article, Overview: Cloud computing services and deployment models.