What Attendees Took Away from EMC World 2016, Besides Swag

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What Attendees Took Away From EMC World 2016, Besides Swag

New storage, hyperconverged systems and cloud technologies, along with a new company name, were some of the highlights of the final EMC World, held this week in Las Vegas.

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Guess What? EMC Wants to Renew Your Storage System

EMC was quite clear that the day of the spinning hard drive has passed. How do we know this? Well, HDDs weren't mentioned at any point during the week. New-gen data centers are all about all-flash solid-state storage, which only three or four years ago was still too expensive for most midrange companies to afford. But new production techniques and high demand have lowered prices while quality has improved. As buying cycles progress, more and more solid-state storage will populate enterprise IT.

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Two Old Friends, One Newly Converged Company

EMC CEO and Chairman Joe Tucci (left) and Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell enjoy a standing ovation from 3,000 conference attendees at the opening keynote. Tucci, 68, who has been EMC's top executive for 16 years, was gracious in saying good-bye to employees, customers and partners. After the merger closes in October, he will serve as an adviser to the company. Dell lauded Tucci's leadership of the world's top-selling storage maker.

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New Name: Dell Technologies

"We wanted to convey a family of businesses and aligned capabilities, and as family names go, I'm kind of attached to Dell," Michael Dell said during his Day 1 keynote. "So after the close of the transaction, our family of businesses will be officially known as Dell Technologies. It's got a nice ring to it." Dell Technologies will comprise Dell, EMC Information Infrastructure, VMware, Pivotal, SecureWorks, RSA and Virtustream. The client solutions business will be branded Dell. The combined enterprise IT business will be named Dell EMC.

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Unity Priced for the Midrange at $18K

The biggest new-products news of Day 1 of EMC World 2016 was about the new Unity midrange all-flash array. The new systems hold up to 80TB of capacity and provide full enterprise capabilities for about $18,000, EMC President of Products and Marketing Jeremy Burton told reporters and analysts. "That price is about half the cost of the nearest competitor, as far as we can tell," he said.

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VCE's Hyper-Converged VxRail Gets Refreshed

VCE, founded in 2009 as a partnership of EMC, VMware, Cisco Systems and Intel, has become one of the world's top-selling hyperconverged server/storage/networking hardware makers. EMC bought out Cisco a couple of years ago, Intel has dropped away and VMware now only owns a small fraction of the company. VCE, with its VBlock, VxRail and VxRack products leading the way, is nearing a $2 billion per year run rate for the parent company. There was a lot of interest in VxRail at the conference; users basically plug them in, connect, set policies and let them run themselves.

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Welcome to the Innovation Area

This pavilion was dedicated to EMC partners, who demoed their products for reporters, analysts and developers alike. Visitors were able to get their digital portraits taken and transformed into "Avatar" characters, take some virtual golf swings on a Callaway driving range and check out the Virtustream enterprise cloud. Intel, Dell and a number of other companies also showed some of their new projects here.

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ScaleIO Will Power New Storage

EMC acquired ScaleIO in 2013. The company's software-only Elastic Converged Storage product enables enterprise to pool flash resources across high numbers of servers. The software can converge solid-state disks (SSDs), hard-disk drives and PCIe-based flash cards to create virtual storage-area networks (SANs). ScaleIO is the core storage engine inside VCE's VxRack, giving the system its scale-out block-based storage file system. It also runs VCE's new VxFlex and Neutrino Nodes systems, announced May 3. The company describes Neutrino as a "turnkey OpenStack system."

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EMC's Idea of 'Modernized' Data Center

This involves the combining a hybrid cloud software platform with VCE VxRack Neutrino nodes and converged VxRail all-flash storage. Automation throughout and centralized controls are key features.

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Virtustream Jumps Into a Very Competitive Market

EMC on May 2 launched Virtustream, a global, hyperscale storage cloud to compete in a huge, emerging market with IBM Softlayer, Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and a few others. Virtustream (pictured is founder Rodney Rodgers) provides a layer of cloud-management abstraction that sits above the virtual machine management layer and affords more accurate controls for administrators, according to the company. In controlling that layer in the stack, Virtustream sets itself apart from other cloud management offerings.

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Joe and Michael Meet the Press

Joe Tucci and Michael Dell met with members of the international press and talked about everything from the markets to products to what customers can expect to see in the coming months. Tucci said he will still stay on as an adviser after the merger is completed next fall.

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Here's the International Press Now

It was a relatively crowded press area this year, largely because it was the last EMC World. Several hundred analysts and journalists from all over the globe attended.

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Duran Duran Provided the Music

Pop rock group Duran Duran, fronted by Simon Le Bon, performed at the conference. The highly successful and popular group made its debut in the early 1980s and were a key part of the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" of the United States. Their popularity was still evident during the EMC World show.

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Spectra Logic BlackPearl V3 Brings Object Storage to Enterprise Data

The concept of "object orientation" has won wide support for enterprise software development, becoming one of the de facto methods to create new applications. Yet, when one mentions that object orientation can be applied to enterprise storage, many CIOs and their staffers steadfastly defend the technologies of yesteryear, especially file systems and block-level storage paradigms as the ideal way to work with data. However, storage vendor Spectra Logic begs to differ and is able to deliver on the promises of object storage in the enterprise. With BlackPearl V3, Spectra Logic strives to bring the benefits of object-based storage to enterprises by eliminating the market uncertainty that blurs the lines between cloud, on-site and hybrid storage systems. BlackPearl V3 makes object-storage available any time and anywhere for enterprises seeking to embrace the storage ideologies of the cloud. BlackPearl...
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