EMC World 2016 kicked off with EMC chairman and CEO Joe Tucci and Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell sharing their vision of what lies ahead for the technology marketplace, for enterprise IT, and for the merged entity to be called Dell Technologies.
But I’ll start with CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure David Goulden’s keynote – which followed his two bosses’ keynotes – where he explained (as the future president of the new Dell EMC Enterprise Systems Group of Dell Technologies) why modernizing the data center would be a key compelling rationale for the merger:
"The IT industry is in a state of massive transformation, resulting in both disruption and great opportunity. Every business leader, across every industry, is facing the dilemma of how to support and grow traditional IT infrastructure while modernizing the data center in order to support the development of new applications and advance their digital agendas. Some are doing all of this simultaneously."
The next 15 years in enterprise IT will be about enabling digital transformation – developing consumer-grade mobile apps and embedded software to transform the business for a new era of competition based on digital business models.
Goulden outlined how EMC would enable business and IT transformation through hybrid cloud solutions built upon modern data center infrastructure incorporating industry-leading converged infrastructure and storage technologies, as he announced “next-breed” innovations in software-defined technologies, cloud-native applications, new application development and modern analytics that will enable customers to redefine enterprise IT, modernize the business and meet the urgent demands of the next industrial revolution.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the center of this revolution, and the data center will be at the center of this modernization of industry, business and IT infrastructure.
In Michael Dell’s words, the challenge of our generation is how to process the huge amount of information from IoT for real-time practical decision-making and predictive analytics. While machines grow smarter and more stuff become automated, Dell said: “Ultimately, someone still needs to manage the IT infrastructure. And securing this infrastructure from the core to the edge of the Internet of Everything is also critical.”
“This merger is creating the next-breed industry for customers, users, developers and partners,” said Dell. “EMC and Dell combined have 21 solutions in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. And, combining EMC’s leadership in incubating new technologies with Dell’s leading global distribution network, what we have is a private company with complete alignment to the corporate leadership’s view of what focusing on the customer means.”
Customers want a strategic partner that provides choice, flexibility and simplicity – not fragments of technology solutions from multiple vendors sitting in separate siloes, he said.
The vision for Dell Technologies is to be the technology engine powering and enabling enterprise customers’ and individuals’ big dreams and visions for the world, be it better government, better healthcare, feeding and watering the world, or some other way to build a better tomorrow for humankind. “Together, we define the future,” Dell concluded in his keynote.
Pillars of the modern data center
To deliver on the capabilities of a digital business, there’s no question that IT organizations must modernize and automate their infrastructure, and transform their data center operation into a cloud environment – one that is fully automated and self-service. But what infrastructure should underpin this new cloud environment?
The bad news is that the digital transformation journey breaks all of the traditional infrastructures that have been put in place over the last 15-20 years.
The good news is that a rapid shift in data center technologies will enable enterprises to optimize existing IT and legacy investments to free up resources for next generation IT that will transform the business.
Enterprises have to drive down costs and optimize traditional application workloads.
EMC believes flash, cloud-enabled, scale-out and software-defined technologies – all built on a foundation of trust (encompassing data protection, security and world class service and support) – are the pillars for the modern data center.
Flash: The storage medium is changing. Flash and ultimately persistent memory will be the dominant vehicle for storing data. Why? Because it delivers the performance required by next-generation applications, while delivering increased performance for traditional applications with better economics than performance disk.
Scale-out. The architecture for a lot of systems in the Modern Data Center will be scale-out in nature. Scale-out is a requirement because every business will be dealing with customers generating three orders of magnitude more data – scale-out enables IT to efficiently manage massive capacities with very few resources in a way scale-up systems cannot.
Software-defined. Many organizations are going down the path of putting in place a software-defined data center. Software-defined on commodity hardware delivers the economics needed to work at massive data volumes. After all, our customers will have 1000x more data, but not 1000x more budget. This new software defined model also automates the configuration and deployment of IT services, delivering greater business agility and a more flexible, programmable approach to managing data services.
Cloud-enabled. It’s also critical that traditional data center infrastructure be cloud-enabled. Why? So that an on-prem data center can take advantage of public cloud economics non-disruptively.
Security and trust. All of these pillars are built on a solid foundation of trust, which means they need to be secure, highly available with world-class support, because at the end of the day this is going to be the foundation of the brand of each company as businesses invariably move online.
On Day 1 at EMC World 2016, EMC launched the new EMC Unity family of all-flash storage, Virtustream Storage Cloud platform, EMC MyService360 service-centric online dashboard, EMC Enterprise Copy Data Management (eCDM) and ViPR Controller 3.0.