Ten minutes with Jeff Nicks

Earlier this year, Mark Sutton spoke to EMC’s CTO and senior vice president, Jeff Nicks about the challenges facing the storage giant and how its VMWare subsidiary is tackling the fast-changing world of virtualisation.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  September 28, 2008

Earlier this year, Mark Sutton spoke to EMC’s CTO and senior vice president, Jeff Nicks about the challenges facing the storage giant and how its VMWare subsidiary is tackling the fast-changing world of virtualisation.

EMC is building functionality into its EMC Smarts line to give better management of virtualised environments, partly because some companies have almost rushed into virtualisation and perhaps lost track of their virtual environments - are there other challenges ahead for virtualisation on your agenda?

I don't see so much ‘issues to be overcome', as opportunities to better integrate virtualisation capabilities into the overall IT management stack. There are opportunities at just about every level of where traditional IT technologies and tools fit today, and once you leverage virtualisation, there is an opportunity to leverage that capability throughout the stack; it is less of an issue that it is an opportunity to get seamless with other technologies around it.

On EMC's side there are several integration and interoperabilities to VMware that are being put into our product plans, and delivering into the market today — that is an ongoing set of activities.

For example when we talk about storage resource management, you want a seamless interaction between your server virtualisation capabilities to the storage platforms.

Integration there means that as you move images around, you want to be able to know that those hosts have in fact migrated and where they now are, so that we can track and continue to provide the performance and availability characteristics through the SAN fabric, to the storage arrays.

The mobility afforded by virtualisation technology such as VMware, has an opportunity to then be made part of co-ordinated migrations of other tiers of resources in the stack: storage migration and mobility, storage virtualisation, replication technology co-ordination.

Is that integration a big task - how far along is EMC in creating this seamless environment?

EMC is very serious about it, VMware is very serious about. There is a lot of work and new products and solutions coming out all the time.

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