EMC Sees Small Private Clouds On The Horizon


EMC has a different view of the future of cloud computing

EMC CEO Joe Tucci said the conventional wisdom is predicting that the cloud computing space will be dominated by a small number of large players, like Amazon and Google, offering massive public clouds.

In his EMC World 2010 keynote, Tucci said that EMC’s sees a future with tens of thousands of smaller private clouds, and hundreds of public ones.

Much of EMC’s focus on the first day of the EMC World 2010 show here is on cloud computing, something that many IT vendors, analysts and others are talking about.

In his keynote speech here on 10 May and a subsequent talk with analysts and reporters, Tucci said that, unlike that of others, EMC’s vision of the future is one with many private clouds, rather than there only being handful of vendors like Amazon and Google offering massive public clouds.

Public Versus Private Clouds

“There won’t be four, five or six giant cloud providers,” he said. “At the end of the day, you’ll have tens of thousands of private clouds and hundreds of public clouds.”

Given that, EMC sees its role as helping businesses make their move to private cloud environments, where IT administrators can view multiple data centres as a single pool of resources. In addition, these enterprises with their private clouds also will work with public cloud environments, Tucci said.

Driving the demand for cloud computing models are the increased complexity and costs of current data centre, and the explosion of data that only promises to grow, he said. That data growth comes from multiple sources, including the growth of mobile device users, medical imaging advancements, increased access to broadband and smart devices.

“Obviously, we need a new approach, because … infrastructures are too complex and too costly,” Tucci said. “Enter the cloud. This is the new approach.”

Clouds will be based primarily on x86 architectures, and feature converged networks and federated resources. They will be dynamic, secure, flexible cost efficient and reliable, Tucci said.

These clouds will be accessible via multiple devices, which is particularly important given the rapid growth in the use of mobile devices, he said.

Most of EMC’s announcements on 10 May centered around this private cloud push, including the introduction of the VPlex appliances and an expanded networking strategy.

“Our mission is to be your guide and to help you on this journey to the private cloud,” Tucci said.

Your Guide To The Private Cloud

In responding to a reporter’s question, Tucci said that given the high level of performance in x86 processors from the likes of Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, he doesn’t seem much of a long-term future for other architectures in cloud computing. He pointed to Intel’s eight-core Xeon 7500 “Nehalem EX” processors, which can offer up to 1 terabyte of storage, with some systems OEMs planning to roll out servers with as many as eight processors.

Tucci also pointed to the overall growth of x86 processor shipments and revenues, saying that RISC architectures and mainframes will continue losing ground.

“What I’m saying is, we’re convinced, and everything … that EMC does, and everything Cisco does, will be x86-based,” he said. “Yes, we’re placing a bet on x86, and we’re going to an all-x86 world.”

EMC is undergoing a three-year process of migrating to a private cloud environment, which will include shedding such platforms as Solaris and move to an all-x86 environment.

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