EMC Corp has underlined its intention to break out of the storage mould when it pitched itself as an “information infrastructure” supplier at its annual conference for financial analysts in New York City.
The company made no bones about its disappointment that Wall Street – represented by a couple of hundred of analysts in the conference audience — has doggedly refused to reward EMC’s success over the last few years by lifting its stock price.
The world seems to hate technology stocks, said EMC CEO Joe Tucci.
EMC expects to continue its double-digit revenue growth for the next several years, and named five areas in each of which it says it is heading for $1bn annual revenues – again within the next several years. Those areas are its VMware processor virtualization business, content management, resource management, storage virtualization, and security.
While ILM continues to be a core strategy, EMC is now promising to deliver the technologies needed to create a service-oriented IT infrastructure. This is not a revolution, but it is more than just evolution. The world is going to a service-oriented architecture, said Tucci.
Mainstream customers will adopt the SOA approach within the next three to five years, according to Tucci. This will see them automate and virtualize their IT systems so that the amount of server, storage and network resources allocated to applications can be altered on the fly, in order to increase flexibility and hardware utilization rates.
Storage will be part of this overall automation. You can’t manage storage independently. It needs to be managed in context with what’s happening in the servers, in the network, and in the applications, Tucci said.
Part of the pitch involves an embrace of storage virtualization, which threatens to cannibalize sales of EMC’s array-based software, and allow its customers to buy into other brands of storage more easily. EMC was the last of the large storage suppliers to ship a storage v-word product by quite some way, but now says it was always a backer of the technology.
This will be absolutely game-changing going forward. I gave you that prediction two or three years ago, and I’m saying it again now, Tucci said.
Future acquisitions will continue EMC’s string of pearls policy, and will include companies that can provide software tools to augment EMC’s VMware processor virtualization technology, bolstering it against what EMC acknowledges is coming competition. EMC also announced its purchase of application discovery specialist nLayer.
EMC will continue its focus on the growing mid-range and low-end market sectors by pushing its Symmetrix disk arrays and Celerra NAS boxes further down-market. Smaller versions of the mid-range Clariion will also appear, as will bigger Clariions. Tucci insisted that despite rumors, the recently launched Clariion CX-3 arrays are shipping in volume.
On the software front, EMC confirmed that it will be abandoning its OEM deal with Mendocino, in favor of the substantially superior CDP software it gained when it bought Kashya in May. Later this year Kashya’s CDP software as well its replication code – will become part of EMC’s Invista virtualization product.
EMC will also late this year launch a file classification tool later, which will be based on its Smarts, Documentum, and SRM software, and a lot of development.