EMC World: David Goulden Lays Out EMC's Private, Public, Hybrid Cloud Strategy

David Goulden at EMC World 2016.

IT departments need to modernize quickly to meet the demands of modern business or risk being left behind as their business managers take over the decision-making process.

That's the word from David Goulden, CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure, to a packed audience of channel partners and customers at EMC World, held this week in Las Vegas.

Goulden, one of Monday's primary keynote speakers, said that navigating business demands in the face of the Internet of Things and other major IT trends has customers placing a premium on agility, efficiency, and speed.

[Related: EMC World: VMware CEO Gelsinger Absent From Conference Stage]

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However, he said, that will require a modernization of data center infrastructures, which are built around four key factors: flash storage, cloud-enabled, software-defined and scale-out.

About $3 trillion is spent on traditional IT systems a year, and a shift of only 10 percent of that away from infrastructure would make businesses much more agile, Goulden said. "And these savings would give us dollars to invest in the transition … to the Internet of Things data center," he said.

Businesses maintain a wide range of workloads that Goulden said could be divided into two main types: traditional workloads that are moving toward the cloud, and cloud-native workloads. The architecture between the two is different. "And what they need from the modern data center is different as well," he said.

EMC a couple of years ago made the decision to divide its business into two parts that recognize the two types of workloads, Goulden said. They included the Core Technology Division, which focuses on transforming existing applications, and the Emerging Technology Division, which focuses on cloud-native applications, he said.

On the core technology side, EMC is focused on the all-flash storage business, including its XtremIO all-flash array, the introduction early this year of an all-flash version of its high-end VMAX array, and this week's introduction of the midrange Unity all-flash array, Goulden said.

Equally important in transforming applications for modern data centers is data protection, where EMC's Data Domain hardware and virtual appliance line is the industry leader, Goulden said. EMC this week expanded its data protection capabilities with the new EMC Copy Data Protection Manager, a new offering for finding all the multiple copies of data in an enterprise to consolidate them to the minimum number of copies.

For cloud-native applications, EMC is offering a wide range of software-defined storage solutions, including its ScaleIO software-designed block storage solution and its new VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure solutions, Goulden said.

EMC this week also introduced the ability to stripe two of its DSSD D5 all-flash systems together as a high-performance converged infrastructure solution for Oracle databases, as well as a new VCE VxRack solution based on the DSSD. Also new on the converged infrastructure side is the Neutrino nodes for the EMC VxRack 1000, which can be used to deploy an OpenStack environment in just a couple of days.

When it comes to bringing together traditional and cloud-native applications in the modern data center, EMC offers two private cloud solutions, Goulden said.

The first is the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, which integrates services, software and hardware in a pretested, fully engineered hybrid cloud solution. The second is EMC's new Native Hybrid Cloud, which was unveiled this week. The Native Hybrid Cloud enables quick deployment of an application developer platform and infrastructure services to let developers build, deploy and scale applications using Pivotal Cloud Foundry.

Goulden said that EMC is also investing heavily in public clouds as well, including the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud. The Virtustream Enterprise Cloud this week was integrated with all EMC storage solutions to form the new Virtustream Storage Cloud, and also now features integration with the Pivotal Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service technology.

"Virtustream with Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and Native Hybrid Cloud completes our cloud strategy. … And of course, these can all be delivered by our partners," he said.

Dell is getting a great deal of technology with which to tackle data center modernization, Goulden said. "When we come together with Dell, we will have more best-of-breed building blocks for you," he said.

The IT industry, as Goulden said, is at an inflection point, said Andy Pratt, president of Unique Digital, a Houston-based solution provider and EMC channel partner.

In response, EMC is sending out very clear messages that the channel has to move quickly, Pratt told CRN. For example, he cited this week's introduction of the EMC Unity midrange all-flash storage array.

"With Unity, EMC is saying, 'We're flash now. Get with it,'" he said.

Brent Collins, global practice manager for data center infrastructures at World Wide Technology, a St. Louis-based solution provider and EMC channel partner, said he likes the EMC strategy as outlined by Goulden.

Customers are learning the limitations of the cloud and what EMC can do for them as they migrate their applications to modern data center infrastructures, Collins told CRN.

Customers now realize the cloud is no utopia, and understand that some applications are good for the cloud while others are better for on-premise.

"If you talked to customers a couple of years ago, they would say they plan to move as many applications to the cloud as they can, and by 2019 or 2020 be all-cloud," he said. "Now we're seeing strong use cases for the cloud, like DevOps. But the economics don't support the movement of storage to the cloud, or to tie analytics like ERP to the cloud."

When Goulden talks, the channel listens, Pratt said. "Goulden is a very smart man. He knows the technology, and knows the business, and is very dedicated to our art," he said.