Cloud

EMC scoffs at the idea that Google and Amazon will host enterprise data centers

At EMC World 2010, EMC CEO Joe Tucci mocked the idea that a few big players will host all enterprise data centers in the future. EMC offers a different vision.

The top two 2010 priorities of global CIOs are virtualization and cloud computing, according to a Gartner survey released in January. That has led some to conjecture that we're moving toward a world where a few big players like Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft will host all of the world's enterprise data centers and companies will simply rent capacity from these big infrastructure providers.

EMC CEO Joe Tucci doesn't buy it. "We have a different vision," Tucci said on Monday at EMC World 2010 in Boston.

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Tucci believes enterprises aren't going to give up their existing investments in custom applications and configurations for things like ERP and line-of-business apps. But, he also acknowledged that the current data center situation is not sustainable.

"IT infrastructure has gotten too complex, too inefficient, too inflexible, and too costly," Tucci said. Plus, "You're managing a lot more with the same or less resources," he told the IT professionals at EMC World, referring to the fact that IT departments are managing an ever-growing and ever-more-valuable collection of corporate data on a stagnant IT budget.

"We need a new approach," said Tucci (right). "Enter the cloud. This is the new approach."

He then contrasted the benefits of today's data centers with the benefits of cloud computing.

Today's data centers:

  • Trust
  • Control
  • Reliability
  • Security

Cloud computing:

  • Dynamic
  • Cost-efficient
  • On-demand
  • Flexible

"In a way, the attributes of one are the negative of the other," Tucci said.

Then he explained how EMC will combine the benefits of both with its "private cloud" strategy. "Take the best of both worlds and bring them together, with no compromises," he said.

Tucci also criticized the data center verticalization strategy that companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Cisco are taking, saying it will lead to a new kind of lock-in that will ultimately lend itself to inefficiency. He said EMC's private cloud strategy swaps out verticalization with virtualization and allows all of your data center solution providers -- even EMC competitors -- to plug in.

This "private cloud" notion is becoming the driving mission in EMC's corporate strategy. The company named the entire EMC World 2010 conference "Journey to the Private Cloud." And, at the opening of the conference, EMC unveiled its V-Plex product for virtualizing entire data centers at the data level. As a technology, V-Plex is clearly the foundation of the private cloud strategy.

It's also important to understand that EMC is pitching V-Plex to both enterprises and service providers (like Amazon and Rackspace, for example), and it's critical to the strategy that service providers sign on, because EMC wants enterprises to be able to use V-Plex service providers for disaster recovery, fail-over, and to buy additional server and storage capacity when needed. In other words, EMC needs service providers on board so that enterprises can get the full benefits of cloud computing while still maintaining their own private cloud.

The other thing to keep in mind is that EMC's cloud play is aimed entirely at established enterprises with lots of legacy applications, legacy code, and legacy technologies. EMC wants to give these companies an on-ramp to the cloud computing highway. That's what the private cloud is all about.

EMC's new product mix and private cloud strategy is not for startups or even high-growth SMBs. Those companies can save themselves a lot of complexity and headaches by going straight to Google, Force.com, Rackspace, and/or Amazon.

EMC is throwing in its lot with old-line enterprises for one big reason: There's a lot more money in it, because it involves solving complex problems on a large scale, and the companies that need that kind of help have much larger IT budgets than startups and up-and-comers. Amazon and Google can have those.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

12 comments
Fregeus
Fregeus

Can you imagine a company that has Office Equipment support outsourced with a contract deal with some manufacturer for server supplies coupled with an outsourced contract for infra support with the cloud? Big companies right now are already loosing their grip on their data. The could is not going to help that situation. I fail to see a venue where the cloud would truly be an advantage for a company except for SMB who have small needs. TCB

enary
enary

Cloud computing is not always an option. In healthcare all data systems must be strictly controlled and secured to compy with HHIPA and NIST rules and regualtions. So although cloud computing may work for some companies, it is not always a viable option for others.

b4real
b4real

Yes, the private cloud makes sense. Too many organizations will never want to fully give up control of their systems and data. Doing it in the private realm with advanced infrastructure technologies will appeal to some. EMC has a strong strategy, and this is just the beginning. I just hope most companies can keep up! EMC is

oholland
oholland

I'll give up my data center when I am certain I have 100% uptime from my ISP; until then, dream on. My users can work locally when my ISP is down and don't tell me about redundancy either. Fail over is only good on the server level but not in large cities like NY where only one company has full access to the under ground. Yes, wireless technology is very good but can they provide 100MB pipes?

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

That's one of the motivators for the kind of private cloud EMC is talking about - get the advantages of cloud computing but keep it secure within your own domain.

QAonCall
QAonCall

Until the SCOTUS decides about the ability of the feds to grab data (email) in the cloud without warrants the issue of privacy is a big one for companies. Think of a bank using the cloud who's records might be subject to a warrant-less search. Who would want their banking records there? Until this is settled, any company moving data to the cloud should proceed with great caution. By not finishing the case, everyone is left in uncertainty. http://aconservativeedge.com/2010/04/19/doj-abandons-warrantless-attempt-to-read-yahoo-e-mail-gmail-gets-positive-nudge/

DerrickD
DerrickD

I work in the banking industry, and FYI, this is already going on. We are required to have a direct VPN connection with the Dept Of Treasury, and any suspicious activity done by a member is automatically reported. ie. Large deposits of cash.

QAonCall
QAonCall

Many health care providers have leegacy systems (see article) which require them to maintain local storage. This is changing as well. Many of the legacy systems are targeted to be moved, or replaced. I have several clients that are in Health Care

tracy.walters
tracy.walters

Which body of compliance do you feel Cloud Computing meets? I am a CISSP and work in two areas: Gaming and Health Care. Cloud computing is ruled out for some systems in both areas as the systems are NOT in direct control of the owning agency. Systems must be secured in locked rooms with only the Agency's IT personnel having access, all others must sign a log and be escorted by the IT/Security Staff. That just is not possible when the systems exists 'in the cloud.' As defined, a 'private cloud' would work, but I don't really see that as cloud computing, that is just a flexible internal system, not much different from what many large organizations deploy today.

QAonCall
QAonCall

The new Financial regs add additional information to that. However, how would you feel if the banks stored the records in the cloud, and the feds reviewed your checking transaction, your credit card buys, etc etc. Big brother would truly have it all. The new rules allow the Feds to track ALL financial transactions, in real time. That burden will cripple the infrastructure me thinks. I have some banking experience as well, years back!