Tucci: EMC The Building Block For Hybrid Clouds

EMC is leveraging its leading market positions in storage, virtualization, and security technologies to take advantage of massive changes in the IT industry and make itself the premier building block for cloud computing.

That's the message from Joe Tucci, EMC's chairman, president, and CEO, who on Tuesday told financial and industry analysts at the company's Strategic Forum that cloud computing is the biggest wave of change facing the IT industry.

"I totally believe there is no sector of the industry...that is immune to the cloud," Tucci said.

Those changes, which will be felt in 2011 and for years to come, include a number of what Tucci termed IT and consumer "megatrends" that are presenting both opportunities and challenges for IT.

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For instance, he said, businesses and consumers are becoming increasingly mobile, with the number of mobile devices in some countries outnumbering the population, giving users total control over their communications.

Furthermore, users have a growing appetite for information, and by sharing that information generate even more, Tucci said.

IT departments also have to deal with new ways of building applications to meet the needs of users increasingly turning to devices like Apple's iPad and iPhone even as they need to continue supporting core legacy applications.

At the same time, companies are rapidly adopting hybrid cloud computing, and are looking for assurance that issues related to security and trust in the cloud are addressed, he said.

Several surveys of top IT spending priorities place server virtualization, security, and cloud computing in the top three, Tucci said. "This bodes well for where we have strength," he said.

In the meantime, customers are dealing with too many different operating environments, juggling too many data centers populated with products from too many vendors, and spending too much on customized applications, which Tucci said translates in about 69 percent of all IT spending going to maintaining their IT infrastructures and only 31 percent going to increasing their revenue.

At the same time, the amount of data being stored in 2020 is expected to grow by 44 times the amount stored in 2009, and it all needs to be protected and secured, he said.

The only way for companies to address these challenges will be to adopt information-as-a-service (IaaS) platforms, which is another way of saying hybrid cloud computing, Tucci said.

With hybrid clouds, customers can move from manually building new services to doing so in a much more automated fashion, Tucci said. For instance, customers should be able to set their required SLAs (service level agreements) and policies such as security, availability, and replication requirements, into an application like VMware's vSphere, which will then dynamically provide the needed virtualized resources. vSphere also provisions applications to run in public and/or private clouds, he said.

With vSphere, customers can both future-proof existing applications by transforming them to work on hybrid clouds and take advantage of new development frameworks like Spring and Ruby on Rails to build new applications, Tucci said.

Next: EMC Brings All The Parts Together For The Cloud

All this is possible because, starting in 2009, more applications are being deployed on virtual infrastructures than on physical infrastructure, Tucci said. "It is quite clear that virtualization is the fundamental building block of the cloud," he said.

When it comes to the storage part of cloud computing, EMC is the industry's largest vendor both in terms of storage for enterprise applications like Microsoft Exchange and for "big data," which includes huge customer datasets that are being measured in terms of petabytes, Tucci said.

For "big data," which Tucci called the fastest-growing part of the storage market, EMC offers its Atmos technology for distributed infrastructures and its Isilon technology for massive scale-out requirements.

EMC is uniquely positioned to be the primary technology provider for building cloud computing infrastructures thanks to what Tucci called EMC's cloud credentials.

For instance, he said, EMC is the number one virtualization vendor thanks to VMware. It is also the number one provider of data storage technology; information protection technology including backup, recovery, and archiving; information security for data both at rest and in motion thanks to its RSA Security business; and information management and intelligence.

Looking back, Tucci said EMC did a good job of following through on the vision for cloud computing it first presented at its last Strategic Forum, which was held two years ago.

At the time, EMC was just starting to talk about the importance of public and private clouds, which back then were referred to as external and internal clouds, Tucci said. The company was just starting to move VMware's vSphere to become a cloud operating system and making VMware the platform for cloud applications and developing new applications. And EMC was also just starting to talk about the importance of security to cloud computing, he said.

"This is what we talked about at the 50,000-foot flyby," he said. "The good news is, we got most of it right."