EMC And Microsoft Extend Alliance On Virtualization And More

EMC and Microsoft have announced a three-year extension of their strategic alliance through 2011.

The two companies are committing to broader and deeper product interoperability and service delivery to address key customer requirements including virtualization, security and content management through the powerful combination of Microsoft’s data center solutions and productivity applications with EMC’s information infrastructure solutions and consultancy. As a result, joint customers will benefit from more productive and less costly dynamic IT infrastructures that can effectively respond to today’s rapidly changing business requirements and economic constraints.

At an invitation-only event for chief information officers and other IT executives, Joe Tucci and Steve Ballmer discussed how the two companies will continue to deliver value to mutual customers through collaboration including a deeper focus on storage and protection of information in virtualized environments, increased productivity through centralized management of content, and leading-edge security solutions to prevent data breaches.

Building efficient and dynamic IT infrastructures is a top priority for organizations across the globe. The two companies work together in many ways to help organizations achieve efficiencies. In recent years, technology advances in server virtualization, tiered storage and IT management have become key elements in IT planning, offering a range of benefits, from lower hardware, software and personnel costs to improved reliability and enterprise-class manageability and performance.

Microsoft offers one of the fastest-growing and most cost-effective virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, including the ability to manage both physical and virtual environments from a centralized management console. EMC’s technology solutions enable storage, protection and management of information in Microsoft virtualized environments including Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft System Center, and jointly supported mission-critical workloads such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server. EMC Consulting’s Application Practice, a thousand-person strong team with deep Microsoft knowledge, provides expertise in assessing, planning and implementing Microsoft’s technologies in a wide array of virtualization solutions.

IT departments everywhere are trying to cope with growing amounts of information spread across disparate systems, such as file shares, content servers and team sites — making information increasingly difficult to harness and govern for business impact and regulatory requirements. IDC states that information under content management is growing at an exponential rate, more than doubling between now and 2011. Today, organizations can link the EMC Documentum® platform with Microsoft’s widely used platform including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft Office Outlook, and Microsoft SQL Server to improve how knowledge workers utilize information wherever it lies, ultimately helping mitigate risks, reduce costs and improve IT efficiencies. Leveraging a unique blend of industry, design and technology acumen, EMC Consulting also helps customers maximize the value of information and decrease time to value through the use of field-tested tools, proven methodology and familiar Microsoft products connected with powerful EMC Information Infrastructure.

As part of deepening the strategic alliance, EMC will develop solutions that leverage and extend Microsoft Office SharePoint. In addition, EMC will continue to develop solutions that enable customers to use the familiar Microsoft Office and SharePoint user interfaces to interact through business processes and workflows with content that is stored, protected and managed by EMC. Ultimately these solutions will empower customers to direct SharePoint content and Microsoft Exchange messages, along with other business content, to integrated archives for long-term preservation, thus improving operational efficiencies, enabling scalability of production systems, and facilitating sound information governance and litigation readiness.

IT environments are increasingly reliant on their corporate information, meaning data loss, data unavailability or data corruption of any kind can cause severe business challenges. The two companies will collaborate on building information protection solutions across the Microsoft application. An example of this is how EMC and Microsoft are responding to the new demands of information security, including a record number of data breaches, by building industry-leading Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technologies from RSA®, the security division of EMC, into the Microsoft platform and future information protection products. The collaboration is designed to empower organizations to centrally define information security policy, identify and classify sensitive data virtually anywhere in the infrastructure, and use a range of controls to protect data at the network, data center and endpoint levels.

As a first step, the new RSA DLP Suite 6.5 has been engineered with tight interoperability with Microsoft Active Directory Rights Management Services. As a result security managers can successfully implement information access and usage polices throughout the datacenter and on endpoints based on the sensitivity of information. Microsoft will continue to integrate data-loss prevention technology from RSA into its products to enable security managers to help monitor sensitive data and block unauthorized use.

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I'm a blogger, entrepreneur, conference organizer, social media consultant, startup advisor and allround web addict, based in Belgium, Europe. I'm a writer at TechCrunch and managing editor of Virtualization.com.

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