Three things I learned at EMC World

By Eric Carter | | Software-defined Storage

EMC continues to be the juggernaut in the storage industry – a title that also extends to their skill at hosting an impressive tech conference. I’ve attended EMC World for the last 8 years (or more… I’ve lost count) and this one was big. For the first time I was a paid attendee vs. booth-dude, and so I had the chance to sit, listen, and learn. And learn I did. Ever the barometer for the industry, EMC highlighted many products, strategies, and future-visions for storage.

Here are three key things I learned at EMC World – all very well aligned with our thinking at Hedvig:

  • Commodity hardware and scale-out architectures are on the upswing –Cited from the mainstage: 42% of storage was sold on commodity hardware last year, driven in part by a 7x lower unit cost and software-defined solutions. These facts, related by C.J. Desai, EMC’s President of Emerging Technologies, signals a recognition by EMC that new architectures that scale linearly based on whitebox servers – like hyperscale and hyperconverged systems – are gaining ground in the storage world. EMC sees the train coming – commodity and scale-out are now a guiding philosophy as it develops “clean sheet designs” for storage systems.
  • The world needs block, file, and object – Flashed across the massive football-field-and-a-half length main stage video screen were the words BLOCK, FILE, and OBJECT. I was pretty excited because at Hedvig supporting all protocols is one of our mantras. EMC emphasizes that enterprises have need for each of these ways of addressing storage in varying degree – now and in the future. Having complete support is key to simplifying the storage world for customers.
  • The hybrid-cloud is the status quo for decades to come – This thought came from Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware (one of the EMC Federation companies). Instead of being a stop along the way to an all-public cloud model, hybrid-cloud, where both on-premise and public services play a role, will be the status quo for decades to come. IDC predicts that by 2020 ~30% of infrastructure will run in the public cloud. Gelsinger mentioned two models: inside-out, with public cloud, (e.g., vCloud Air) as an extension of an on-premise environment (think Disaster Recovery or burst capacity), and outside-in, where life begins in the public cloud before being deployed on-premise  (think test/dev in the cloud).

These principles align perfectly with our thinking at Hedvig. From day one of designing our software-defined storage product these concepts have been a critical part of our philosophy and strategy. You know the saying, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” (perhaps an odd thing to say about a conference in the desert), so I applaud EMC for a great show and for educating the throngs of attendees on the true coming state-of-the-storage industry.