SAN FRANCISCO -- The back-to-back speeches at Oracle Corp.s OpenWorld event here Tuesday were given by Michael Ruettgers, chairman of storage titan EMC Corp., and by Marc Andreessen, chairman and co-founder of Loudcloud Corp., and the original developer of the graphical Web browser in the early 1990s. Not surprisingly, the former spoke of the present, while Andreessen spoke of his vision.
Central to Ruettgers message to the capacity crowd was that disaster recovery planning must be more open-minded.
"Were trying to do exactly what AT&T didnt see when they talked about putting everyone to work as telephone operators," he said, referring to the automation of storage failover technologies. "If you look at what happened in New York, firms that lost either their people or their information are finding it very difficult to recover. In fact, most of them wont. The disaster plan was to go to upstate New York to pick up tapes to go someplace else. It just doesnt work."
Firms must reconsider what parts of their business are mission-critical, and must consider lights-out data centers that are still accessible via technology even if the actual facility cant be entered, he said. Ruettgers Hopkinton, Mass., company is in a period of transition from being solely focused on hardware to now having software as well.
On a lighter note, Andreessen, of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Loudcloud, talked in more visionary terms to a sparsely populated auditorium.
"The adoption curve overall continues to be up and to the right, despite everything thats taken place," he said. "From 1950, that line went from 0 percent to 50 percent," he said of corporate technology spending. "Over the next 50 years, its going to go basically all the way up to 100 percent."
From 2002 to 2012, "Were going to see the same adoption rate for the Internet as we saw from 1990 to 2000 with the PC," he said.
Like EMCs approach to storage, companies need to make the rest of their IT infrastructure work as a utility, Andreessen said.
"Most IT organizations in companies are still treated as cost centers instead of as a strategic resource," he said. "My basic proposition is, thats not going to work anymore."
If the shift that Loudclouds gambling on toward outsourced IT is successful, itll require databases like Oracles to be larger but fewer, Andreessen said to eWEEK in an interview following the keynote.