EMC is betting that its VMware virtualization platform will ride a strong wave of hybrid cloud deployments to drive robust business growth in 2011.
Joe Tucci, EMC's CEO and chairman, repeatedly emphasized the company's positioning in cloud computing during an analyst briefing in Boston on Feb. 8. Since EMC's last analyst event in 2009, cloud computing has evolved from being just a buzzword everyone was using to become the next "big game-changing" technology that will make enterprises more nimble and efficient, he said.
"No segment of the industry will be immune to this disruption," he said. EMC "recognized the opportunity early" and realigned the business to meet anticipated customer demand, he said. "Looking back, we got it right," he said.
Companies are on a "journey to the cloud," with the hybrid cloud as the eventual goal, Tucci said. Companies virtualize tier 2 and tier 3 applications in the first phase and their mission-critical applications in the second phase of the cloud journey, he said. IT as a service will be the last phase, freeing up companies to shift IT spending toward new technology instead of maintaining current infrastructure, he said.
"We're in a great position in storage for the cloud," Tucci said Feb. 8. "We're focusing our whole strategy on how to become the company that takes our customers on this journey to benefit from IT as a service."
Customers are saying things are too complex, too inefficient, too inflexible and too costly, Tucci said. IT managers have to support too many operating systems and customized applications within their data centers. "Almost three-quarters of IT spending is on maintaining existing applications in existing infrastructure," Tucci said.
EMC has identified several "megatrends" within IT and communications, such as the popularity of mobile devices and mass connectivity, the shift toward virtualization and the explosion of information and data, he said. These trends are driving tremendous growth in the data storage industry as companies search for efficient ways to store and access "big data," he said.
The amount of data is poised to explode "44 times" in 10 years, to more than 40 zettabytes of data by 2020, Tucci said. For comparison, there is about 1.23 zettabytes of data today, he said.
There's an "intersection" between enterprise data and cloud, and EMC is "in the middle," said Pat Gelsinger, president and COO of EMC Information Infrastructure products. The journey to the cloud is a "shared vision" with VMware, he said.