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EMC CEO Tucci: HP's Hurd Has It Wrong

In an exclusive interview with CRN's Steven Burke, EMC CEO Joe Tucci says HP CEO Mark Hurd is missing the point when he talks about HP driving down high storage and networking margins.

EMC CEO Joe Tucci Monday kicked off the 10th anniversary of EMC World in a keynote address in which he described EMC's "mission" as acting as a guide for customers making the journey to the private cloud. As part of that mission, he pledged "choice, control and efficiency." That message of choice strikes at the heart of critics' claims that the EMC-Cisco joint venture amounts to a propretiary private/public cloud architecture. In a brief interview with CRN Editor/News Steven Burke after his keynote, Tucci dispelled claims that VMware, which is owned by EMC, will favor the Cisco-EMC cloud. Tucci also directly addressed HP CEO Mark Hurd's claims on the high margins in the networking and storage business. Below is an excerpt.

HP CEO Mark Hurd recently talked about this whole issue of margins, with 80 percent networking margins for Cisco and 48 percent margins on storage. What is your response to that message that HP is going to drive margins down?

This is the guy that makes how much money?

EMC has 14,000 developers -engineers. Do you know how many do hardware? 300. So what are we? A software company. There is always great margins in software. So he's got it wrong. And then fundamentally when you talk about the margins what does he make on (printing) ink. Give me a break.

What is your message on the cost and value of the EMC-Cisco solution versus what else is out there?

Look, there is a lot of complexity. As we do a lot in our labs to pre-integrate with these Vblocks (EMC, Cisco, VMware integrated packages aimed at providing best in class technologies), we can take a best at what Cisco has to offer, the best at what we have to offer and really substantiating that in a single deliverable backed by a tremendous amount of resources. It is a good way -- not the only way -- a good way. I am dead over on this choice thing. Dead over.

EMC-Cisco has some special go to market relationships with large systems integrators like CSC and Capgemi. What is message to the other partners that are not part of the VCE right now?

Let me give you another example: HP. You mentioned a bunch of SI partners. One of the things that we are not doing and Cisco is not doing and we are unique in that is we are not buying systems integrators. Therefore we are much more benign, much easier to partner with because we are not going to compete with them.

Next: Tucci's 100 Percent Independent VMware Pledge


What is your commitment to make sure VMware is an independent entity that won't favor the Cisco servers versus the HP servers and the EMC storage versus the HP storage?

It is 100 percent. Look I can rest on my track record. Go find any of our competitors out there that will tell you I am disadvantaging them.

As far as the technical specifications, what is your pledge to keep open standards as you make the journey to the private cloud.

It is 100 percent. VMware is very good publishing their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and making them available. The only thing we do at EMC is obviously we are such a believer (in the cloud) that we run faster. That is how you win. You do more. You innovate better. Like this VPLEX (technology for virtualizing storage). It's game changing. That is going to be our inherent advantage.

What does Cisco-EMC combined offer in terms of performance, scalability and security versus a Dell or HP?

HP is a VMware partner -- not an EMC partner. Cisco is an EMC partner. Dell is an EMC partner. We are working very seamlessly. Obviously with Cisco what they bring to the party is their networking (technology and skills). They built a very innovative server and UCS (Unified Compute System) which combines server and unified networking.

Cisco also brings all the interconnected networking skills. So when you think of what you need in a stack we can also offer customers a complete horizontal stack.

Dell, on the other side, partners with us on the server side and we partner with them on the storage side.

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