EMC details plans for cloud computing and consumer portfolio

EMC announces cloud computing division, discusses plans for Iomega acquistions and introduction of high-end storage technologies

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By  Mark Sutton in Las Vegas Published  May 21, 2008

EMC has revealed more of its plans for cloud computing and its move into consumer devices, alongside plans to integrate more high-end storage technologies throughout its product ranges.

During EMC World in Las Vegas this week, company executives discussed EMC's new Cloud Computing division, its plans for the pending acquisition of drive vendor Iomega, and highlighted some of the advanced technologies that it expects to introduced to its wider product range in the near future.

During his keynote address at the event, company president, chairman and CEO Joe Tucci, gave some details on the recently formed Cloud Computing Services and Infrastructure division, which will lead efforts to provide storage as a service and other online initiatives.

The division is headed by Paul Maritz, founder and CEO of recent acquisition Pi Corporation, and will include technology from Pi, another recent acquisition Mozy, and internal EMC developments.

Speaking about the company's strategy for cloud computing, Tucci said that the division would help lead the transformation to ‘information centric computing'.

"We are very much going to play in this cloud computing, infrastructure and services business," Tucci said. "We think the world is going to get transformed to information centric computing - today most information is trapped in a device or an application that might be owned by a set of users. Tomorrow the world is going to demand the ability to use and manage information across all these silos. Today we have fragmented views of information. Tomorrow you are going to see consolidated views of information that are much easier to get to. Today policies, if applied at all, are applied haphazardly, to some of the data, some of the information, some of the time. Tomorrow, the system will be driven through common policies and common safeguards that are followed everywhere."

The cloud computing division will include the Mozy service, which is already providing online backup services to enterprises, small businesses and end users, mainly in the US, and the company plans to expand the Mozy service to Europe and other regions in the near future.

Mozy will also likely play role in EMC's move into consumer hardware, which is being led by the pending acquisition of drive manufacturer Iomega. In March EMC launched an acquisition bid for Iomega, and if the deal goes through, EMC plans to inject more capital into Iomega to help build it both as a hardware proposition and as a consumer and SOHO play to offer both hardware and online storage services.

"I do believe that there is going to be a fair sized number of homes throughout the world over the next couple of years that will have a terabyte of storage in their house, and that's a market that is worth playing in. I also totally believe that that storage will also be connected to the cloud," Tucci said.

While EMC is keen to build a consumer brand, the company would not rush into it, said Tucci, stating: "We are planning to walk into it. This year we are probably not going to spend tens of millions of dollars to do that, but you will see us begin."

David Donatelli, executive vice president Storage Product Operations for EMC, highlighted some of the company's plans to extend enterprise level storage technologies to the rest of its product portfolio. The company expects flash drives to become increasingly common in the enterprise level, while it also believes its Avamar data de-duplication software will be able to offer much more efficiency at all levels of storage. EMC also intends to extend disc spin down technology, that shuts down idle discs to save power, and low power drives, across its portfolio.

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