Continuing on a previous post from our recent event, I thought I'd use this post to recap the main points that Joe Tucci shared with the audience as part of his executive keynote.
Joe Tucci just hit a few highlights in his session -- spending far more time on introducing private cloud concepts (along with Paul Maritz).
The bulk of the storage-related strategy detail was handled by Dave Donatelli in a private breakout session.
But I think it's useful to cover how Joe teed it up, and the key points he emphasized from the podium.
Introducing Information Infrastructure .. Again!
The first stop was EMC's heritage and core strength -- storage.
Given the audience, it was pretty well understood that EMC was a leader in the market and was doing well -- they all follow the numbers pretty closely, so we didn't have to make a case that we knew what we were doing in this category!
Joe chose to focus on a couple of areas he thought was important. One of earlier slides was simply a discussion of current popular topics in the marketplace.
What most people don't realize is that there's renewed interest in business continuity these days.
Joe didn't say it, but many of us believe that this is a direct consequence of widespread virtualization, and VMware products such as SRM that dramatically lower the cost and complexity of many business continuity scenarios.
Joe's key point -- and one we've all made before -- is that there are a lot of smaller companies who try to build a product around a single capabilitiy, e.g. dedupe, etc.
What customers want is a broad set of product platform capabilities that include these features, as well as many others.
Now, he didn't say that "tape was dead" -- nobody really believes that -- but customers were certainly investing in a whole lot less of it lately, and tape was being pushed farther and farther down in the hierarchy.
And then Joe used his podium to take a little wind out of Data Domain's sails, so to speak. In Q4, EMC did over $90+ million in backup-related dedupe products, which would technically make EMC the market leader in the category from a revenue perspective.
He also stated that the ramp had just started, if I remember correctly.
The "Other Dedupe" -- Flash
Joe doesn't describe it this way, but many of us do (Chad Sakac started it!) where we have fallen into the habit of describing SSD / flash / enterprise flash drives as "I/O dedupe".
Disks supply two primary metrics: capacity and IOPs.
Traditional dedupe lets you use fewer disks to deliver a given capacity.
Enterprise flash allows you to use fewer disks to deliver a given IOPs level -- hence "I/O dedupe".
Joe was very clear -- he sees this as the most important advancement in the storage industry ever. No fundamental change has occured in storage media since IBM introduced a 5MB rotating rust drive way back in 1956.
I think he ran out of words trying to explain just how big this was.
He then made some interesting points that made the crowd sit up and take notice.
He flatly stated that he expected this price decline to continue apace in coming months, and EMC was committed to driving the price down for this important new technology.
He also shared that EMC completely sold out of EFDs for DMX and CX in recent quarters. We were increasing supplies, but customers had figured out just how powerful this technology was.
Now, if you're reading The Storage Anarchist, you might know that not every storage vendor sees things the same way :-)
He did a side-by-side comparison of a current DMX 4 built two ways -- one built the traditional way (244 300GB 15K FC drives -- a reasonably high performance configuration), and one built with a different mix of technologies: 8 x 73GB flash, 136 300GB 15K FC drives, and 32 x 1TB SATA drives.
The before and after numbers speak for themselves: 60% more IOPs, 17% lower cost -- in addition to things like 28% fewer drives and 21% less power and cooling.
What I got out of this -- in addition to Joe's comments -- is that a little flash goes a very long way, especially in larger configurations such as shown here. The corrollary might be that smaller configs may not see quite the impact shown here.
Joe also stated that making these devices work well in existing customer environments took a lot of work. Sure, we're starting to see a few vendors bring their initial offerings to market, but these competitive platforms were not purpose-built to handle this technology (as is the case with the current DMX and CX), nor did they appear to have the degree of integration and optimization.
Given EMC's significant lead here, it makes you wonder what we'll do next? :-)
Virtualization Changes Everything ... Again!
And, to close off this post, I'll share with you the chart that Joe used to show how well EMC was doing in VMware environments. He put up a side-by-side showing EMC's overall "branded market share" according to IDC (smaller numbers), and then showed an average of three separate surveys done by analysts of storage market share in VMware environments (the really big circle).
Paul Martiz was on hand to unequivocally state that EMC had achieved this entirely on their own; VMware had provided the exact same opportunities to each of its storage partners, it's just that EMC had capitalized better than most.
Which is exactly as it should be, no?