EMC CEO Tucci: Cloud, Big Data Transforming Business, IT

In his keynote address at EMC World, Tucci said businesses are demanding IT offer dynamic and innovative ways of dealing with these changes.

To EMC CEO Joe Tucci, change has always been one of the constants in the tech industry.

Speaking before a packed convention hall at EMC World 2012 in Las Vegas, Tucci recounted the industry€™s move from mainframes to client-server technologies to, now, smartphones and other mobile devices. He touched on the storage business€™ move from tape to disk to flash, the €œkiller apps€ going from ERP and CRM to predictive analysis.

Now, the industry is moving into the era of cloud computing and big data, and EMC, the dominant data storage company of the past couple of decades, will be a significant player, Tucci said May 21 during his keynote address at the show, which was Webcast.

Tucci gave the crowd the high-level view of EMC€™s goals and directions, an umbrella vision that encompassed what the company was doing as it unveiled 42 new products and services, a record for the storage giant. EMC updated its VMax high-end storage array portfolio with new software capabilities, a new scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) OS for its Isilon division, unified VNX systems with greater performance and capacity, entry-level VNX and VNX3 storage systems, and enhanced the Data Domain and Avamar de-duplication systems.

For infrastructure as a service environments, EMC rolled out the new DataBridge real-time management tool for a single point of management. In addition, the company upgraded its Atmos Cloud platform to better manage big data workloads in distributed cloud environments, and said the combination of its VPlex virtual storage offering and RecoverPoint data protection solution is the industry€™s first cloud package to connect active-active data centers with third-site disaster recovery protection.

All that fit in with Tucci€™s vision of the new vision of technology and business, a world of clouds, where dynamic performance, security, big data and predictive analysis are paramount.

Speaking about the need for more dynamic services in this environment, Tucci summed up the theme of his entire talk when he said, €œIf we do this right, there€™s a tremendous opportunity here.€

Regarding the cloud, he said the big debate right now is which model will become the predominant one€”private or public? Tucci called it a "stupid question," noting that there will be thousands of public clouds and hundreds of thousands of private clouds.

€œIt€™s a world of both,€ he said, noting that in a recent poll, 78 percent of respondents said their companies were making plans for private cloud use, while 77 percent said the same thing about public clouds. €œWe call this world of both the hybrid cloud.€

Tucci envisions a scenario where most companies will run their own private clouds, while relying on public clouds as business demands.

He and Pat Gelsinger, president and chief operating officer of EMC, also talked about efforts the company is making beyond the 42 new products announced at the EMC World show. Tucci mentioned an initiative he called €œProject X,€ an effort stemming from its acquisition in 2010 of flash storage maker XtremIO.

€œIt€™s nice being EMC,€ he said with a grin. €œYou can do what you want€”to a point.€

Gelsinger, during his keynote address, said that the first product resulting from the XtremIO deal would roll out later in 2012.

Also touching on the subject of change, Gelsinger said that the €œcenter of gravity€ in IT has shifted away from applications and now lies with data. Noting the massive product rollout at the show and the breadth of EMC€™s offerings, he said that when dealing with data, €œone size does not fit all.€

Tucci noted the effort EMC makes to continue delivering innovative new products every year. The company spends more than $2.5 billion every year on in-house R&D efforts, and another $2 billion or so every year buying smaller companies whose products complement what EMC is doing.

€œWe are, at our heart and soul, a technology company,€ he said.