The big news of the morning here in Orando at EMC World is the launch by the storage infrastructure vendor of EMC Atmos onLine,which aims to marry the benefits of storage on the cloud with themanagement and security tools that enterprise customers demand.

Building on Atmos,EMC’s policy-based information management platform that was launchedlast year, Atmos onLine provides what EMC is calling Cloud OptimizedStorage (COS) capabilities that can scale effectively, coupled withsecurity and management tools.

While you don’t need Atmos to use Atmos onLine, which EMC viewsbeing available in a hosted service pay-per-use model, for thosebusinesses that are using Atmos, EMC is offering federation to allowclients to set policies that determine the automatic federation ofinformation between the cloud and the on-premises date centre.

In a briefing with the media, Mike Feinberg, EMC’s seniorvice-president, cloud infrastructure group, said the ever increasingamounts of rich data content being generated require new storagestrategies. He doesn’t see any business moving its storageinfrastructure to the cloud entirely. Rather, it’s always going to be ahybrid model. But the cloud will need to play an increasing role toaddress storage challenges efficiently and with flexibility.

While the enterprise market has been eying the cloud, Feinberg saidthey’ve been holding back until there was something enterprise-grade,that gave them the management tools they have in their data centre andstronger security features. That’s what EMC has aimed to do with AtmosonLine.

Availability is expected in the second quarter of 2009, and a preview is available today at www.emccis.com.

Could Atmos onLine be the solution that gets the enterprise to buyinto the cloud? That’s what I’ll be hoping to ask some analysts aboutlater today. I do think the integration with the data centre isessential, and attendees are buzzing about the federation capability.There’s a lot of hype still around cloud storage though. It’s themarketing buzz-word of the day. Even with a substantive offering,breaking through the hype will be a challenge.

Look for more analysis and commentary on the launch on Tuesday at Computer Dealer News,as well as the opportunity for the channel and managed serviceproviders. And follow our EMC tweet coverage by following us onTwitter, at @CompDealerNews.

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Jeff Jedras
As an assistant editor at IT World Canada, Jeff Jedras contributes primarily to CDN and ITBusiness.ca, covering the reseller channel and the small and medium-sized business space.