This last week we were at EMC World, held in Las Vegas with a record crowd and lots of news. The big, actionable news items were the new XtremIO (bigger, better), a cool new DSSD rack-scale flash system (faster but not yet on the market and not software defined for sure) and the shocking news that EMC is open-sourcing ViPR. The most significant move from EMC II was their focus on Platform 2.5 (see footnote 1) and their renewed respect for the IT data center. For those of you who were at EMC World last year and failed to hear the words VMAX or VNX on the main stage, they have reset their view of the world, and it is not all computing 3.0, SDS, software defined data center, mobile social and data analytics and an assortment of other buzz words. Oddly in a way, the big news from EMC World 2015 is that EMC understands the IT Datacenter is not going away. It is changing, but what IT does with transactions and day to day operations of exchanging goods for money is extremely important and deserves the attention, 7-9’s reliability and cost necessary to keep the 2.0 world operational.
This does not mean they are abandoning the world of IoT or cloud. Rather, they understand that the two are intertwined and that the bulk of IT spend will continue to be in the main data center as organizations decipher how to deliver and transform their business with new data sources.
Tucci aptly stated that we are living in unprecedented times. He and Goulden referred to the disruptions we have seen and continue to see, represented by Google upsetting the newspaper industry, Uber upsetting livery business, and Amazon upsetting the publishing industry. He expects, as we do, that each industry will be transformed because of data. That said, enterprises must learn how to capitalize on data, and the EMC Federation is assisting their customers in doing just that.
Looking back on the event, there are two distinct areas I would highlight. One is DSSD. Not yet released, but with speed close to the speed of memory, DSSD has the potential to change how business operates. I have stated this before: all tier-1 applications will be backed by solid-state. DSSD takes the reasons for this to the next level, providing speed that will make businesses re-think how they operate and what they analyze to take action.
The second area regards our personal understanding of what is possible to do with data and how to get there. The biggest barrier enterprises have is envisioning how to capitalize on data and turn it into immediately actionable information. So much is outside of our card-cataloged, indexed minds (see footnote 2) that we need help visioning. For this reason, EMC offers a Visioning workshop. This engagement joins customers with data scientists and IT to explore the possibilities of data, internal and external. As we have seen in IT, one concept begets another, but it is the first initiative that needs the help, impetus and investment.
EMC has made a course correction with retrenchment to computing 2.5, one we rarely see with such speed and acuity. Its balance signifies its ability to listen to the customers and take the actions needed.
(1) Platform 2.5 is an EMC reference to an IDC definition of Platform 3.0. Last year EMC focused 3.0, which is seen as the realm of webscale environments often equated with SDS, commodity hardware and IoT.2.5 is a reference to a step back to focus on the IT data center.
(2) The majority of us learn by relating knowledge. We understand new concepts by relating it to something we already know, thus the card catalog / index reference. It is the realm of new-thinkers that can see beyond the known and conceptualize something completely new and unrelated.