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FOXBORO, Mass. — EMC executives say that the company–not only with its expanding storage portfolio but also its expertise in virtualization, security capabilities and strong management software–is at the forefront of business migration to the cloud-computing model.

When EMC on Oct. 18 announced that third-quarter revenues jumped 18 percent over the same period in 2010, and net income rose 28 percent, officials and analysts pointed to rising demand for the vendor s cloud and storage technologies as the key drivers.

At the EMC Forum 2011 event here Oct. 20, executives continued to tout the company’s position, saying EMC’s product portfolio is well positioned at the intersection of two key trends in today s high-tech industry–cloud computing and "big data”–and that they are continuing to drive innovation to meet business demand in both areas.

Speaking before several hundred customers, partners, analysts and journalists, EMC President and COO Pat Gelsinger spoke of the rapid transition in the industry toward cloud and data analytics, and added that these waves of disruption create tremendous challenges as well as tremendous opportunities.

To address the various drivers that are leading enterprises to cloud computing and forcing them deal with big data, data centers need to become increasingly virtualized, flexible, scalable, secure and automated, he said. EMC’s role is to help businesses deploy the infrastructure necessary to make the move to hybrid cloud environments and to collect, store and analyze the massive amounts of data being generated by those companies every day.

EMC has been aggressive in expanding its portfolio to put itself in a position to address such customer demands, as evidenced by the $10.5 billion the company invested in R&D over the past eight years, and the $14 billion it s spent buying companies to fill out its offerings, from virtualization technology vendor VMware to Data Domain, Isilon and Greenplum, he said.

During the event here, Gelsinger outlined several ways EMC officials are looking to grow the capabilities of their products to help businesses make the move to the cloud. Its Project Lightning technology, which essentially is a PCIe flash card that can be plugged into a slot in the server to move virtual machines (VMs) and their workloads around the data center, should launch later this year or in early 2012, he said.

Project Lightning has been in beta since earlier this month, where it has gotten a tremendous reception from customers who are looking for faster and more efficient ways to move and retrieve data in data centers, Gelsinger told eWEEK after his keynote. The flash card brings data closer to the processor than in traditional storage environments, and users can leverage EMC’s Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) to tier storage across multiple devices.

He gave kudos to Fusion-io for pioneering this idea, but said EMC will do it better, and with more supporting technology.

At the same time, EMC is also working with its VMware subsidiary to enable IT administrators to use the latter s VMotion technology to not only move VMs and their workloads between physical servers, but also into and out of storage devices.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: EMC Promises Further Innovation for Cloud Environments