EMC preparing ground for shift toward virtualisation

EMC’s aggressive acquisition policy will continue apace, with the storage giant also spending US$1.2 billion on research and development (R&D) this year, its CEO said last month.

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By  Chris Whyatt Published  May 7, 2006

EMC’s aggressive acquisition policy will continue apace, with the storage giant also spending US$1.2 billion on research and development (R&D) this year, its CEO said last month. Describing EMC as a more rounded ‘information infrastructure’ company at its annual conference last month, chairman and CEO Joe Tucci said that EMC is determined to acquire companies he believes will complement the firm’s shifting technology roadmap and allow it to accelerate its rapid product creation strategy. Tucci specifically identified two ‘game-changing technologies’ EMC intends to pounce on: virtualisation and internet-protocol (IP) networking. “I personally believe that over the next three years all storage and server hardware products will be virtualised. The second game-changing technology will be IP-based networking, which will enable full resource management to CIOs anywhere,” Tucci told the record 4,000-strong delegation in Boston, US, insisting that the recent acquisition of VMWare has given EMC access to vital virtualisation technologies. “Having these two technologies, we believe, will change the face of technology and IT over the next three years,” he stated. “Information should become better and easier to manage for CIOs,” he claimed. In the past three years EMC has spent US$4.5 billion acquiring a portfolio of 20 technology companies, most notably data content management firm Documentum, backup-recovery specialist Dantz, and virtualisation outfit VMWare, the latter of which EMC described as ‘one of the most successful software companies ever’. Tucci promised more investment and expansion. “2006 will see us introduce more products and invest in more innovation than at any other time during our history,” he said in his keynote speech. At a press Q&A afterwards, Tucci went on to reveal that it was mainly eyeing software and regional-based service companies around the globe, although he refused to rule out a systems or even hardware acquisition. “You never say never in this industry,” he admitted. Information lifecycle management (ILM) was to be the core driver for EMC with the company considering 2006 ‘phase III’ for its overall ILM strategy, though storage management is still high on the agenda. Launches at the event included EMC’s Smarts Application Discovery Manager, a software product that finds and models application behaviour allowing a real-time enterprise-wide mo- nitoring analysis and automation, along with a new EMC Assessment Service for Storage Security. Both indicate the firm’s focus upon software-as-a-service and increased security. EMC made a point of stressing that its success was dependent upon its global outlook — it grew revenues by 17% to US9.6billion in 2005. IT Weekly asked Joe Tucci specifically about activity in the Middle East. “Although we work mostly in the Middle East through channels, it’s a very hot market for us,” he claimed.

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