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Charles King
Charles King
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EMC World 2009 - Hands, Hearts and Minds in the Cloud

What was particularly interesting was the degree to which cloud themes inhabited most every major and minor EMC presentation, and the overall clarity of the company's underlying messages.

There have been some early wins as a result of this work, such as the leveraging of EMC disaster recovery and storage deduplication solutions in VMware ESX infrastructure environments. In addition, Sakac discussed EMC's extension of its SMARTS technologies to discover, analyze and monitor relationships between physical and virtual resources, and to utilize the company's ControlCenter solution to better administer VMware ESX. On the horizon are the massive improvements in scalability and I/O performance offered by systems equipped with Intel's new Xeon 5500 (Nehalem) processors. To date, EMC is the storage vendor of choice in nearly half (48%) of VMware environments, and we expect the company will maintain or even extend its position as cloud computing comes to the fore.

Virtualization and cloud are not simply "big picture" issues at EMC but, instead, percolate through most all of the company's efforts. For example, EMC's services organization provides a range of offerings aimed at helping clients determine the best way to pursue virtualization and how prepared they are to take on such efforts. While cloud-related services are still under development, the group has spent the past two years building out and enhancing its enablement program for channel partners, who stand to profit handsomely as virtualization spreads further into the market. Anticipating that shift, the company is now ensuring that every EMC solution is being built out in both physical and virtual modes.

But what good are commercial products and services without satisfied and loyal customers? This was an issue addressed by Jim Bampos, the VP of EMC Information and Quality Management. Bampos detailed the company's ongoing collection and analysis of data concerning enterprise customer satisfaction with EMC's own and competitors' solutions and services. At base, the effort is not particularly unique -- virtually every IT vendor tracks similar data. But EMC's ability to dynamically equate satisfaction and dissatisfaction with short and long term customer loyalty trends appears to be groundbreaking. While it certainly offers the company remarkable insight into the state of its own and others' market performance today, accurately measuring customer loyalty is also likely to play a critical role in ensuring the success of emerging cloud computing solutions and services.

Overall, we consider EMC World 2009 to be time well-spent. Rather than simply talking about the cloud -- throwing effervescent verbiage at an amorphous subject -- EMC demonstrated how it and its partners are getting down to the hard work of building the technologies and infrastructures necessary to support next generation cloud computing services and solutions. The way to that future is neither easy nor inconsiderable, but EMC World 2009 showed the company fully ready, willing and able to do whatever is necessary to ensure a place in the cloud for itself and its partners and customers.

Charles King, President and Principal Analyst for research firm Pund-IT Inc., focuses on business technology evolution and interpreting the effects these changes will have on vendors, their customers, and the greater IT marketplace. View Full Bio
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