Nothing But Blue Skies: 30 Scenes From EMC World 20103:47 PM EST Thu. May. 13, 2010
If you wanted a fast track to cloud computing then EMC World in Boston, Mass. was the place to be this week.
More than 5,000 customers and 750 partners converged on the Boston Convention Center May 10 - May 13, 2010, for four days of Cloud Vision with a capital 'V,' including more than 475 technical breakouts and a lot of after hours activities where attendees got to get their feet on the ground at concerts and a Red Sox game. Here's a look at some of the highlights from the cloud journey.
Actually, the “journey” started at Boston’s Logan airport, where EMC’s advertisements touting private clouds were plastered all over the baggage carousel area, on taxi cab rooftops, and even on pedicabs near the Boston Convention Center, where the conference was held.
Who says storage hardware has no personality? The EMC Storage mascot welcomed 5,000-plus attendees to the EMC World conference with an Elvis-like cool. And, yes, this storage king of cool is a big Red Sox fan with a Red Sox cap. Remember, the EMC Club at Boston's Fenway Park is the toughest ticket in town unless of course you run EMC storage solutions.
There is no quicker way to get to the cloud than listening to the Counting Crows crank out their hits. The popular rock brand from Berkeley, Calif. kicked off the first night of EMC World with several thousand attendees rocking out to hits like "Mr. Jones" and a super cool cover of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi." The light up Viking Hats handed out to attendees were aimed at beating back the storage blues. But the Counting Crows leader singer Adam Duritz found the Viking motif somewhat surreal.
EMC CEO Joe Tucci, who kicked off the opening day of EMC World, told attendees that the increasing amounts of data stored, and the complexity of storing it, will require customers to adopt cloud computing. Tucci said EMC is adapting its technology to help customers build private clouds while also working with service providers to build public clouds. “So at the end of the day, you’ll have thousands of private clouds, and hundreds of public clouds,” he said.
EMC CEO Joe Tucci takes time out from his busy schedule at EMC World for a photo with just a few of the EMC technical gurus helping drive the Cisco-EMC-VMware VCE technology. Left to right: Stephen Spellicy, Tee Glasgow, Tucci, David Robertson, and Brian Lewis.
EMC World marked the debut of Pat Gelsinger publicly wearing EMC attire.
EMC in September recruited Gelsinger, its president and COO of information infrastructure products, from Intel where he served as senior vice president and co-general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group.
Gelsinger, right, appeared on-stage with Chad Sakac, vice president of the VMware technical alliance at EMC, to demonstrate several new products, including the VPLEX appliance for virtualizing storage over multiple data centers, and the Ionix Unified Information Management software which allows pooling of Vblock storage, server, and networking resources.
Sakac said UIM automates a lot of the processes related to managing those resources. “We’re abstracting at the mundane parts of the job,” Sakac said. “Nobody wants mundane.”
EMC’s most important product release at EMC World was VPLEX, a series of appliances that connects multiple EMC and non-EMC storage arrays to dynamically migrate data within a data center and between multiple data centers.
VPLEX allows caching, replication, and automation between multiple arrays, said Pat Gelsinger, president and COO of information infrastructure products.
VPLEX will come in four versions. Versions for migrating data within a single data center and for migrating data between two data centers up to 100 km apart are available now. A version for migrating data between data centers at any distance, and one for migrating data between more than two data centers, will ship next year.
The primary focus of EMC World was on some of the steps customers can take in their journey to cloud computing.
For many customers coming in from Europe, the first step was getting through a cloud of ash spewing from a volcano under Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier, which has been disrupting travel plans for weeks.
EMC CMO Jeremy Burton said many customers managed to get to EMC World after flying through a “public cloud” caused the volcanic ash.
“If it was an EMC cloud, it would be safe and reliable,” Burton said.
Burton’s appearance at EMC World was his first public appearance since joining the company in March. Prior to that, he was best known as a prolific EMC basher during his years at Veritas and Symantec.
Rich Napolitano, president of EMC’s Unified Storage division, which includes its Clariion, Centera, and Celerra hardware line as well as the bulk of EMC’s midmarket software offerings, used his time to introduce several new midmarket storage products.
Napolitano unveiled a new version of EMC’s Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) technology which was updated with the ability to use a part of its flash-based storage as cache to increase the performance of its disk-based storage.
Napolitano said EMC is working to help customers free up people, time, and dollar resources to better focus on their core business.
Many customers tell Napolitano that EMC is helping them address the problem of having to handle “more and more” storage using “less and less” resources, he said.
“They tell me, ‘Someday, you will want us to do everything with nothing,’” he said.
Keith Norbie, vice president of sales and vendor management for VAR 500 solution provider superstar Nexus Information Systems of Minnetonka, Minn., high fives a Red Sox stilt talker at the Swing Big With EMC Select Partners Night where partners go to meet Baseball Hall of Famers Carlton Risk, Dennis Eckersley, Orlando Cepeda, Wade Boggs, Phil Niekro and Norbies own favorite Hall of Famer Saint Paul, Minn. native Paul Molitor, nicknamed The Ignitor.
EMC partners and customers were not only treated to Hall of Fame technology demonstrations at the conference, but also got a chance to get close to some of the most treasured memorabilia from the Baseball Hall of Fame. Here is the actual glove used by Hall of Famer Ty Cobb circa 1912. Try catching a line drive with that glove. Ouch!
CRN Editor News Steven Burke took time out during the Hall of Fame EMC technology exhibition to shake hands with one of his heroes, Hall of Famer and current Boston Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley. The Eck, as he was called, perfected the role of the "Closer." It's a lot like the role EMC partners are playing to win big deals.
CRN Senior Editor Joseph F. Kovar, who hits big story home runs for CRN, met Hall of Fame slugger Orlando Cepeda who had eight seasons of 25 or more home runs. Check out Cepeda's big-handed grip and Kovar's all star grimace.
EMC has teamed with the Finca Vigia Foundation to preserve a treasure trove of documents from author Ernest Hemmingway, including his personal library, which have been stored unprotected at his home near Havana, Cuba since his death in 1961.
Other sponsors of the project include Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern and home improvement and remodeling expert Bob Vila, both of whom attended EMC World.
McGovern said that without the collaboration to preserve the Hemmingway documents, a lot of this history would be lost.
“This is about our responsibility to support a proud part of our heritage that we share with Cuba,” he said.
Frank Slootman, president of EMC’s Backup and Recovery Systems (BRS) division, introduced new features of a couple of EMC’s backup technologies.
Among them is Data Domain Boost which, when used with the company’s NetWorker data protection software, can increase dedupe performance by 50 percent.
NetWorker can also now be used to replicate date from one Data Domain appliance to another, and Slootman promised that EMC will invest in making NetWorker a more competitive offering than it has been.
This was the first time that Slootman, former Data Domain president and CEO, appeared on an EMC World stage. At last year’s EMC World, EMC and NetApp were involved in a bidding war over Data Domain, a war which EMC won.
Rather than worry about security issues related to the cloud, customers should instead expect and demand that security will be a prime consideration, said Art Coviello, EMC executive vice president and president of the company’s RSA security division (left), in an interview with CRN's Steve Burke.
Moving to cloud computing is really an opportunity to start fresh when it comes to security, Coviello said.
“If we can take the fundamental technology of cloud computing -- virtualization -- and build in security at the get-go, if we do this right, we can be in security Heaven,” he said. “But if we don’t do it right, we could be in security Hell.”
EMC Global Services was on the show floor with the message that EMC will make sure that moving to the cloud is a far cry from the Wheel of Fortune game of chance that it might be with a competitor. Sounds great. Now can I buy a vowel?
EMC likes to brag about how many of its hardware and software offerings can help customers handle problems with their backups.
To emphasize its ability to combat the “backup blues,” the company invited the “Backup Blues Brothers” to put on a little show at its Backup and Recovery Systems (BRS) division booth.
Caught in the middle between “Jake” and “Elwood” Blues trying to get the latest news is Steve Burke, CRN’s very own news editor.
Axxana was showcasing its Phoenix System RP, its disaster-proof “Black Box,” at EMC World. The company’s “Black Box” disaster recovery system ensures zero data loss over any distance. This is red hot technology as evidenced by the Axxana fire cloud showcase. Don't try this at home kids.
Brocade, a competitor to EMC partner Cisco, scored big at EMC world by announcing an agreement under which EMC will resell Brocade's IP networking switches.
Barbara Spicek, vice president of worldwide channels for Brocade, said the deal speaks to the importance of "supporting open standards" and incorporating other vendors. "For me, the impact of our announcement is huge," she said. "EMC now has choice."
Here, Brocade's booth on the show floor draws a steady crowd.
There was no solution provider that walked away with more award hardware at EMC World than superstar partner International Computerware (ICI) of Marlborough, Mass. The company won three big EMC awards (Channel Partner of the Year for Information Governance, the Services Excellence Award and the Gold Medal Award for Best Partner). Customers say ICI's breakthrough nCubed methodology and innovative vCube solution is dramatically reducing costs and improving IT efficiency.
Here, left to right, are members of the ICI All-Star team with a key partner: Barney Haye, managing director of TransVault Software; Jamie Shephard, executive vice president technology solutions for ICI; Justin Kenney, ICI solutions architect; Ali Bliss, ICI vice president business development; Gary Reardon, ICI Solutions architect and founder of gCubed; and Dave Vautour, ICI solutions architect.
GreenPages Technology Solutions, a Kittery, Maine-based solution provider, rented a booth at EMC World 2010 to demonstrate its solution for making Cisco’s Telepresence video conferencing system work across multiple data centers.
Mario Brum, senior consultant for enterprise solutions at GreenPages, said his company set up two virtual data centers, one on the right side of the booth, the other on the left. The “data centers” were running Cisco Telepresence using an EMC NS 120 Celerra unified storage system and Seattle-based F5’s WAN acceleration technology.
“We showed how if there was a failure at one data center, operations could immediately failover to a second data center,” he said. “The customer’s call is interrupted, but no infrastructure was lost. The customer just has to redial.”
Forsythe Solution Group, a Skokie, Ill.-based solution provider, exhibited in the EMC World showcase looking to meet up with some of the nearly 5,000 EMC customers attending the conference.
Jeff Schorr, (right) senior marketing specialist at Forsythe, said his company was talking providing customers with “TCO,” and he didn’t mean total cost of ownership.
“Transform, converge, and optimize,” Schorr said. “With everything going on in the industry, customers are asking about public and private clouds and how Forsythe can help them get to that state.”
Joining Schorr at the booth was Paul DeFeo, (left) Forsythe’s eastern area manager for storage solutions.
EMC’s new VPLEX appliance for virtualizing EMC and non-EMC storage across multiple data centers will be a new opportunity for solution providers to engage with EMC, said Brian Gallagher, president of EMC’s Storage Virtualization Product group.
VPLEX will initially be a direct sales product, but that is normal for early sales of a new storage line, Gallagher said.
“Our strategy is not to leave partners out,” he said. “We’re working on the channel strategy. We don’t have a date yet, because we’ve been trying to get the product out.”
VPLEX also shows that EMC is determined to work with non-EMC products, Gallagher said.
“The private cloud is not a single vendor (product),” he said. “It’s multiple vendors.”
EMC has been saying for years that tape is dead. And Pat Gelsinger, EMC’s president and COO of information infrastructure products, said during his EMC World keynote, and we quote, “tape sucks.”
Someone must have forgotten to tell tape library vendor Quantum.
The tape and disk library vendor was not only was bragging at EMC World that EMC has added Quantum’s latest tape library, the Scalar i6000, to EMC’s price list, but it also paid a lot of money for booth space in the conference’s exhibitors area.
Solutions giant CDW brought its Big Red Bus to EMC World. CDW is the first to bring EMC Iomega's StorCenter ix12-300r Network Storage array to the small medium business market. Iomega touts the $4,999 product as the ideal rackmount storage device for SMB.
There may have been talk about clouds in the right field grandstands at Fenway Park, but it was a clear night as about 1,000 partners and customers enjoyed a night at Fenway Park with EMC.
EMC's Velocity team not only makes sure that partners score big when they invest in Velocity, but that the Red Sox score big when partners are in the stands. Partners looked on as The Red Sox thrashed the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1. Here, Velocity team members Cindy Herndon, a global partner program manager, and Dan Burton, a senior manager for global channel marketing, enjoy the game.
The Journey to the Private Cloud may have started at EMC World Boston, but it continues next year in Las Vegas. EMC is already promoting the 11th edition of EMC World in Las Vegas next year.
For all the news and analysis from EMC World 2010 and what it all means to the channel, make sure you check these out: