Keywords: Cloud Computing, Big Data, Trust, Social, Unstructured Data, Private/ Public Cloud, Software Defined Storage, Internet of Things, Analytics, Asset Information Management.
EMC recently held its annual EMC World user conference in Las Vegas. The primary purpose of this conference is to bring together EMC's global partner ecosystem and the company's technology users. EMC World 2013 drew around 15,000 users, partners, media, and analysts. The event covered a wide variety of IT infrastructure solutions representing the company's core technologies (storage, servers, backup systems, virtualization, cloud, data management, etc.).
EMC is a global market leader in providing data storage technology and virtualized server environments and software-defined data centers. The company supplies both hardware and software for these sectors. EMC reported revenues of $21.7B in 2012. The company represents four major brands: EMC, VMware, Pivotal, and RSA (security technology) and provides a broad range of solutions across cloud, security, big data, and content management. Today, the company focuses its business around three pillars:
The Cloud (private/public/virtual private)
Big Data (analytics, storage, capture)
Trust (data security)
The theme of this year's EMC World, "Lead Your Transformation," indicates that this is a time for IT leadership; not simply a time to maintain the status quo. Technology suppliers and users alike must move forward. EMC recognizes that IT has moved into a third platform era (the first was the mainframe era, and client/server architecture the second) which now encompasses Cloud, Big Data/Analytics, Mobility, Social, and Internet of Things (IoT).
EMC Poised to Lead the Transformation to the Third Platform
The general buzz and the topic of many conversations at EMC World revolved around the transformation in IT, including what is happening, what it involves, what it consists of, and – perhaps most importantly – how it will affect business, enterprises, and society at large. Clearly, EMC is focused squarely on the IT transformation with technology and solutions that address the current set of technology disruptions, including Big Data, which the company segments into:
EMC maintains that the bulk of Big Data is unstructured. As opposed to the structured data in relational databases, file systems, and other data repositories; unstructured data represents huge volumes of information across many areas of business, industry, commerce, entertainment, media, and society in general. In his keynote presentation EMC CEO, Joe Tucci, noted that unstructured data is three times bigger than structured data and growing five times faster. This is being driven by social apps, streaming data, public Internet commerce, and the coming huge volumes of telemetry data the IoT will generate. There seems to be a consensus within the industry that the best way to handle very large volumes of data is through some form of next-generation, object-based data service This is how global data services will be managed with EMC's new ViPR Software Defined Storage platform.
Object technology is designed for handling large volumes of unstructured data, and EMC designed the VIPR Object Data Service to extend object technology across the storage infrastructure and extend object and REST-based applications to all NAS systems to support mixed workload environments and address the massive scale imposed by unstructured data. Overall, ViPR provides a new model for storage management, a new architecture for expanded workloads, and a web-scale data center. VIPR redefines software-defined data storage with an abstracted storage infrastructure, the ability to eliminate massive data movements, and by leveraging cloud architecture. According to EMC, the VIPR platform will minimize data movement, make data more extensible, offer better provisioning, and scale to meet cloud computing workloads.
Paul Maritz, the new CEO of the newest EMC brand, Pivotal, outlined the mission, strategy, and solutions that Pivotal brings to the IT sector. According to Maritz, Pivotal's mission is to deal with big, very fast data applications and achieve cloud independence. Maritz pointed out that the evolution of IT from mainframe, to client/server, to web-based architectures generates new business models, new data fabrics, and new experiences. This will require a platform that can store and analyze very large volumes of data (scale to petabytes), provide rapid application development, and operate in a highly automated manner. Emerging disruptive technologies such as IoT will generate huge amounts of data through pervasive telemetry, requiring systems to react in real time with public and private clouds. Maritz stated that IT needs a new operating system to function in a cloud environment. To that end, the new Pivotal One platform for the cloud era will be open source, data-centric, operate in a multi-cloud environment, and be both developer- and enterprise-friendly.
EMC's Information Intelligence Group (IIG) concurrently held its Momentum Global Partner Summit and user group event. IIG's President, Rick Devenuti, delivered a keynote that focused on the significant progress that IIG has made in the past year. The primary theme and tag line for IIG is "Connecting Information to Work," and this was clearly evident with 47 new products rolled out in 2013. Applications include content management, processes, and collaboration designed to enable users to get work done. Asset information stored in the document management system is disseminated to users via the cloud, mobility, and social applications.
This EMC business unit focuses on information solutions for five industrial sectors: Energy & Engineering (E&E), Life Sciences, Healthcare, Public Sector, and Financial. The primary solution for information distribution is Documentum D2, which accesses, distributes, and manages all forms and formats of documents, engineering, maintenance, and operational information to support the complete asset lifecycle. IIG conducted a live document migration demo for an actual Swedish pharma company that involved transferring literally millions of documents and objects. The demo used a high-performance migrations appliance capable of transferring 1.2 million objects per hour. The transfer was completed entirely during the Momentum conference with zero errors.
Gonzalo Merchan, Director of IIG's Energy Sector, presented an overview of the capabilities of Documentum's solutions for managing operational assets for the oil & gas industry. Merchan pointed out some of current challenges faced by the energy sector. These include maintaining or even increasing production levels with aging assets, the move to the digital oilfield, and the demands for regulatory compliance and safety.
The IIG information solution for oil & gas focuses on the entire lifecycle, from upstream exploration and production, through midstream pipelines and transportation, to downstream refining, distribution, and retail sales. Managing the wide range of assets across this lifecycle is critical to both the capital projects (CAPEX) and the operations and maintenance (OPEX) aspects of the business. Merchan illustrated how IIG's Documentum solution set addressed the challenges of accessing and disseminating information across this very complex environment with a single point for all plant information related to operations and maintenance.
ARC participated and presented in an energy and natural resource roundtable that examined issues and requirements for asset lifecycle information management (ALIM) for power generation, oil & gas, mining, and natural resources. A panel consisting of industry experts, EPCs, and users fielded questions and held an informative discussion examining a range of issues around these asset-intensive industries, including managing the large volumes of asset information.
EMC is already a leader in data storage, server virtualization, backup systems, cloud, and overall data management. Going forward, it appears that the company is also poised to lead the way in applying disruptive technologies such as the Cloud Big Data, Analytics, Mobility, Social, and the Internet of Things to enable its customers prepare for the tsunami of structured, unstructured, and consumer-scale data that they will have to deal with in the coming decade. Additionally, EMC's IIG will help users manage and disseminate information across industries and infrastructure.
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