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EMC CEO defends federated business model, debunks storage myths

John Gallant | Sept. 4, 2014
There's EMC and then there's EMC.

Computerworld: Today, the entire IT stack we've known for years is being changed, with mobility, cloud, big data, etc. Lots of massive shifts, massive opportunities. Today I think if you talk to any customer, it's deeply ingrained in their mind that EMC owns that storage layer of the stack. But what do you want people to think about EMC? How would you position EMC in their minds if you could start fresh?

Tucci: I think part of the problem is EMC is used twice. Once it's used as EMC, which is the federation, then it's used as EMC II, as the business that has the storage. For EMC, people think of EMC II. I'd like, when they think of EMC, they say: You've got tremendous offerings in cloud. Basically, as you said, what's driving the future is in no particular order; mobile, cloud, big data, social networking and then security is just the key enabler across everything. If you look at those drivers, we're basically focused on those metrics.

On end-user computing, we've given that to VMware. They just bought AirWatch and they're doing more on the mobility side. If you think of cloud, VMware is doing a software-defined data center, but EMC II is doing ViPR - a big piece of software-defined storage. You put that together and I think we have a better story than anybody. You think of big data, it's exactly what Pivotal is doing. They're doing it with the HDFS new-wave scale-out big data approach. RSA traditionally came from IPV — identity protection and verification — then security analytics, which assumes that bad guys have penetrated your system and stolen IDs and then you basically look at every packet for activity and either allow it or don't allow it or ask more questions based on what you're seeing against real profiles. Then, of course, are we adhering to policies and good governance against the policies that we've set, either as an enterprise or set for you by a government. That's what RSA is.

It's almost three missions apiece. VMware is working on end-user computing, they're working on software-defined data center, they're working on a hybrid cloud. EMC is working on storage, software-defined storage and converged infrastructure. Pivotal has a developer's platform called Cloud Foundry, developers' PaaS. On top of that they have big data capabilities on the back of HDFS and then they have Pivotal Labs, which helps you develop programs very rapidly to use these big data stores. RSA is IPV, security analytics and EGRC [enterprise governance, risk and compliance].

Now, within that, under vSphere, VMware has done a little bit in VSAM, but that's for a specific use cases in a vSphere environment. That's a little bit of the overlap and everybody, of course, writes about the overlap. But again, if you look at what we have and the way we're approaching it, [the overlap is] way over-hyped. You know, all the press about VMC and VMware, aren't they competing at the edges? But we have these swim lanes and I think it's very clear which technology you should use for which swim lane.


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