EMC's strategy goes deep in the cloud, sees IT as a service

CEO Joe Tucci says 'the platform for change is here'

At EMC's first strategic forum in two years, company execs today offered financial analysts and investors a view into the company's plans, with VMWare figuring prominently in the message EMC CEO Joe Tucci hammered home: The future is the cloud.

And the cloud, whether private, public or a hybrid, is there to support IT as a service for businesses, Tucci said, noting that in 2009, for the first time, more applications were deployed on virtual servers than physical.

Cloud computing solves a myriad of problems, not the least of which is enterprises' operating expenditures on maintenance of underlying infrastructure. On average, Tucci said, 67% of IT budgets are spent on maintenance, while only 27% goes to innovation or creating value for the business. By turning toward commodity hardware with virtualization, grid computing and business intelligence on top of it, those routine expenses can be reduced and applications shared across virtual data centers.

"We believe the platform for change is here," he said. "We're going to be the undisputed leader in enabling hybrid cloud computing through infrastructure and application transformation."

Scattered throughout a morning of keynote speeches by EMC executives in Boston were bits of news about upcoming functionality. Among the main themes was that EMC wants to continue to more tightly integrate its various hardware and software so the products can work better in a virtualized, cloud environment.

At the same time, Pat Gelsinger, president of EMC's Information Infrastructure Products, said the company already has the "the most integrated portfolio" of products from among its competitors, including IBM, HP and NetApp. Market research firm Enterprise Strategy Group is expected to come out with a report this quarter confirming that, he said. Gelsinger pointed to the recent release of the VNX line of midrange storage arrays, which combine EMC's Clariion SANs with its Celerra NAS file head.

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