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Summary:

Storage kingpin buys TwinStrata to make it easier for companies to move data from on-premises to their cloud of choice.

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EMC is buying TwinStrata, which offers a storage appliance and CloudArray software that facilitates secure data transfer to various cloud repositories, and will integrate the technology into its new VMAX3 enterprise data storage game plan. The news comes out of an EMC event in London on Tuesday.

Update: an EMC spokesman said the TwinStrata team will join EMC’s Enterprise and Mid-Range Systems division (EMSD). TwinStrata CEO Nicos Vekiarides will lead that team and report to Fidelma Russo, SVP of EMSD. EMC also plans to move the Natick, Mass.-based TwinStrata personel to the EMC headquarters in Hopkinton, Mass.  Further details of integration plans will come later.

This deal, terms of which were not disclosed, echoes Microsoft’s acquisition of StorSimple, a Twinstrata competitor, in 2012 and shows how critical it is for legacy IT vendors to provide an easy and secure way to ensure that corporate data can transition to and from in-house storage closets to the customer’s cloud of choice. For Microsoft the appeal of StorSimple was to connect company data repositories to Azure — although Microsoft pledged to keep supporting third-party clouds as well.

EMC, the enterprise storage leader, is working to move more of its business from an on-premise model to the cloud, where it faces lots of competition from younger storage companies. As part of that push, it bought XtremIO in 2012 to bolster its flash storage play. It launched the first XtremIO units in November, and this week will announce upgrades to that lineup.

Also new this week: upgrades to EMC’s Isilon’s OneFS distributed file system for scale-out storage. This is positioned as part of EMC’s “Data Lake” vision, which would let authorized business users reap benefits from huge repositories of data, regardless of the format it’s in or how it’s stored.

Overall, EMC supports several third-party clouds including, but not limited to, VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Services. EMC owns a majority stake in VMware but also supports Canopy, CSC, Dimension Data, and Rackspace clouds.

This report was updated at 7:55 a.m. PST with additional details on EMC’s integration plan for TwinStrata.