Really, really busy -- but in a good way.
Fortunately, I've been able to squeeze out enough time to finish out the sequence from this event from March 10th.
If you need the prequel, please see Joe Tucci's intro, the storage discussion, comments on protection, intelligence and automation, Joe's introduction of the private cloud, Paul's discussion on vSphere, and his thoughts on the vCloud and vClient initiatives.
In this segment, we'll wrap up with some final thoughts from Joe Tucci on EMC's newest business unit -- the Cloud Infrastructure Group.
Where We Left Off
Keep in mind, by now we're a good 90 minutes or so into the event. Yes, it's great material -- big concepts with solid execution behind them -- but at this point people's brains are starting to overflow and eyes are beginning to glaze a bit.
Joe has reviewed EMC's business, drawn a line in the sand, and talked about how the emergence of private clouds was the biggest thing to happen to IT infrastructure in a long time, and how well EMC was positioned to play.
Paul Martiz then came on, and demonstrated how his three initiatives -- vSphere, vClient and vCloud -- created the software foundation for the private cloud. He also pointed to service providers that already were successfully standing up services based on these technologies.
Joe Puts It All Together
Joe retook the stage at this point, and started by stating that there were still a few missing ingredients in this vision -- most importantly, how to best address the new wave of telcos and service providers that would provide compatible infrastructure to make the private cloud a reality.
One could argue that "cloud is different". Perhaps very different, depending on your level of skepticism.
Using Paul's examples, "cloud as architecture" certainly was a different way of building IT than previous models.
And "cloud as consumption model" was certainly a new variation on a theme.
But how to close the gaps on architecture and consumption model?
Enter EMC's newest business unit -- the Cloud Infrastructure Group
They need dedicated multi-tenancy infrastructure that can scale efficiently and effectively.
They'll certainly need new types of storage infrastructure than understands information logistics and workload relocation (think EMC Atmos, at least for the present).
They need to be able to provision new services quickly and automatically -- in some cases, by the customer directly, or in an autonomic fashion in response to a workload surge.
They need to be able to precisely monitor the delivery of those services over the network, as well as secure ever aspect of them, and provide fully auditing.
For this particular model, these service providers will eventually need core technologies and standards that enable not only dynamic federation with enterprise IT organization, but amongst themselves to create even more compelling bundles of services and options.
And -- most of all -- they need to be able to charge and bill for what they deliver.
Now, not a lot of this stuff exists today. Sure, you can see pieces of it in VMware's porfolio, and EMC Smarts and RSA and from other technology providers.
But all of this has to be wrapped into a business model proposition, rather than an assemblage-of-cool-technology proposition. Service providers tend to invest in business propositions -- the technology is somewhat secondary -- so it's important that all the pieces are there to make money.
And that's just one of CIG's missions.
Personal Information In The Cloud
EMC's interests in clouds isn't limited to enterprise IT and private clouds. At the same time, EMC's Cloud Infrastructure Group is making a concerted play for personal information management delivered as a cloud service -- either directly through EMC, or by working with service providers.
You're all probably familiar with the Mozy remote backup service. What you haven't seen yet is what PI can do on top of that information. I'd like to tell you, but it's not exactly GA yet ... let's just say you're gonna want it as bad as I do.
Partners and Ecosystem
Finally, Joe said that no company -- not even EMC and VMware working together -- could pull off this vision working along. We needed some pretty strong partners.
The first partner logo that went up was Cisco's. Since this was prior to the UCS launch, Joe couldn't go into too much detail as to why Cisco's logo was up there all by itself for a while.
The audience could only speculate at the time -- which they did.
The next build on the slide brought up partners on the right hand of the diagram -- the growing roster of service providers we would need to work with to build compatible infrastructure.
And finally, the last build showed all the system integrators and consultants we'd need to work with to help transform our customers' environments -- not only the technology, but the process and business rationale associated with IT.
Joe put up a final slide that kind of summarized his feelings of how EMC and VMware were positioned for the future.
Personally, it felt a bit understated compared to all the visionary fireworks we'd seen for the last hour or so.
But I guess it had to be said.
We'd shown this audience a bold and comprehensive vision of the future, and a detailed strategy to get there.
We'd pointed not only to our current combined product strengths, but talked about how these would extend even further in 2009.
Joe once again referred to EMC's financial strength to weather any economic downturn, and to continue to invest our way through the turmoil.
And finally -- as he usually does -- he shares just how proud he is of EMC and its leadership team.
And -- you know -- watching all of this -- I had to agree with him.