EMCs New Tech Directions

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2007-12-03 Print this article Print

Lets talk about storage in the cloud, where EMC has zero market share. Google has probably created the largest storage cloud. Not probably, definitely.
EMC is not a player. How do you become one?
Well, youre going to see us enter. First of all, there is only one Google. But there are many companies that need to get into cloud computing. I wont say more on that now, but we are going to have a great hardware and a great software platform that other companies can use, and we will also use the platforms to offer services around archiving and around backup and other services. So the cloud just becomes another tier in tiered storage? It is more than that. There will be opportunities for SMB customers to say, "I dont need this infrastructure myself, Ill just use the cloud." That is where companies like Salesforce.com built their business. What is another example? We bought this company, Berkeley Data Systems, which operates a service Mozy [online data backups] that has over 300,000 users, and some of those users are very big. GE uses Mozy, and that is one customer, but you can imagine how many customers we back up for GE. Does that get you into the home market? We think that there are some users that will have a terabyte of data at their home in the not-too-distant future, and that everything will be backed up in the cloud. So you work with companies on the storage of data, the security of data, the movement of data, but you stop at providing the business applications that manipulate the data? Ive always felt that if you can stake out your claim, that is how you differentiate yourself from your competitors, such as an HP or an IBM, who are trying to do everything. Plus, I become important to an SAP or a Microsoft because I am not attacking their space. Microsoft? What about VMware? They are not happy with VMware, but I have that cordoned off. [Microsoft CEO] Steve Ballmer is a friend of mine, so when he talks to Joe Tucci as the chairman of VMware, he knows we are fighting, but Joe Tucci, the CEO of EMC, is his partner. He knows Im honorable, and he is honorable, so we know exactly where we are fighting. That is "co-opetition." And the applications companies? The applications companies are our friends. The app companies right now are hating Oracle because, well, you know what I mean? Im not saying Oracle has a bad strategy, but he [Oracle CEO Larry Ellison] is building out a stack for himself. And, by the way, the Oracle stack will run on our platform. Will it be a vertical or a horizontal technology world? If you really believe in SOA [service-oriented architecture], it will be horizontal. By not going there [business applications], I can make my partnerships cleaner. Is there a company that has a similar strategy? Cisco. What is your crystal-ball forecast for IT spending in 2008? First, there used to be an old analogy: If the U.S. catches a cold, the whole world sneezes. Im not sure that is true anymore. As a matter of fact, I think it is not true. I think Europe is going to be good, I think Asia is going to be good, I think Latin America is going to be good. In the U.S., any slowdown is fairly well-contained to the companies that are affected by the subprime mortgage problems. The big wild card is: Does the consumer slow down significantly? Right now, the facts are that the consumer is not slowing down. Final question: Here we are, sitting near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. Is this business, the IT business, still a good area for a student to be going into these days? Absolutely. There is a statistic that more than 50 percent of the engineers are baby boomers and are nearing retirement. This is a great business to be getting into. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazineÔÇÖs Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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