EMC wants in on hybrid cloud

Storage giant notes convergence of private and public clouds as one of several major trends for new year and company wants to be "at the intersection" of key activities, says exec.

SINGAPORE--Private and public clouds are fast converging and EMC wants to be "at the intersection" as demand for the hybrid cloud model grows in the new year, says company exec.

Speaking with Asia-Pacific reporters at a briefing here Tuesday, Steve Leonard, president of Asia-Pacific and Japan at EMC, said the convergence of private and public cloud is fast becoming a reality.

"We know that the private cloud and public cloud need to work together. No company can have everything on its own inside the four walls. And no company at this point in time is going to move everything that it does to a public cloud," Leonard said.

Since the company has worked on both cloud deployment, EMC wants to be at the intersection when hybrid cloud emerges as a business model that enterprises demand, said Leonard. Last year, the storage vendor focused on bringing data centers to private clouds and also worked with service providers and telcos on public cloud projects, he said.

Trust and integrity will play key roles in the growth of both private and public cloud, he added, noting that cloud "can only occur with trust".

Leonard also pointed to the consumerization of IT as one of the major trends EMC is expecting to play out in the new year. This, he said, will lead to higher consumption of data as more users gain access to mobile devices and, in turn, are encouraged to create even more information, he said.

Another major trend to emerge this year is the rise of real-time business analysis and growth of petabyte-scale applications.

Leonard explained that, historically, business intelligence and analytics have been focused on analyzing information after an event. This method of business analytics is "not very helpful" for businesses that need tools with the capability to "crunch through" a large amount of data so they can make decisions in real-time, he said.

According to EMC's vice chairman, Bill Teuber, the company last year acquired companies such as Greenplum and Isilon to solve the challenges presented by the emergence of "big data".

Teuber said it is not possible for an organization to "create every new idea" and, as such, EMC will choose to acquire companies to complement its internal research and development (R&D).

He noted that the storage vendor drives innovation through both R&D and acquisitions, adding that EMC spent US$17 billion over the last five years supporting these two activities.

"Our core belief is that in good times and bad time, we need to over-invest in R&D," he said. He added that despite the economic downturn, EMC still allocates 11 to 12 percent of its annual revenues to R&D investments.