David Webster, President-APJ & SVP, EMC, speaks on the company's focus on the cloud, big data, and partner enhancement.
CW: Acquisitions of ScaleIO, Isilon, and Avamar reflect EMC's focus on its core strength—storage. But in FY 2013, EMC's storage revenues witnessed only a 3 percent rise compared to the previous year. How do you view this?
Webster : EMC focuses on three key areas—cloud computing, big data and analytics, and trusted IT. The IT industry is going through tremendous changes wherein customers and partners are moving towards the third platform. This platform has characteristics that revolve around mobility, social media, cloud, and big data analytics.
Our focus is to enable customers on that journey towards the third platform. It also provides them the opportunity to align with partner companies that have integration application skills for their journey to the cloud, big data, and improved security. EMC is not a storage company, but a company focused on leading the move to the third platform.
CW: Do you believe that the mega launch of mid-range storage solutions by EMC will help it run down the competition?
Webster : EMC is buoyant about it because we have completely redefined what we classify as mid-tier storage. We have redefined cross-performance and functionality and how our customers think about their IT infrastructures.
Customers have traditionally viewed block and file storage as separate environments. With VNX next gen, we have an opportunity to take customers to a consolidated and simplified environment and provide an infrastructure that provides scale and performance.
CW: EMC's ViPR launched a quarter ago claims to be the world's first software-defined storage (SDS). How's it different from any other vendor that has a compelling SDS offering?
Webster : The first differentiation is that ViPR as a product is actually shipping today. Our heritage in storage technologies around block storage, file storage, object storage, and Hadoop file system storage is a perfect platform for ViPR to be successful. Customers are excited and the partner community is interested as they can look at customers in a different way.
CW: Software-defined datacenter is fast gaining industry acceptance with each vendor providing their own versions. Isn't there a danger of cannibalizing hardware sales?
Webster :The leaders in the IT space are concerned more about customers and not products and technologies. Our focus is on looking at our enterprise customers needs in the next five years. That drives our strategy. They want to simplify their silos of technology. Many of our customers have silos of storage and we think ViPR as a solution can enable simplification and virtualization of the storage environment which can accommodate a move to an automated environment.
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