EMC's Tucci: Cloud has 'potential answers' to IT problems

EMC Corporation CEO Joe Tucci argues that the cloud has a lot of potential answers to IT's problems at Oracle OpenWorld 2011.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's no secret at this point that the information technology industry is on a major cusp of change thanks to cloud computing. That has been a recurring theme at tech events for more than a year now.

EMC Corporation's CEO Joe Tucci argued at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 on Monday that there are three specific catalysts for change in IT: budget dilemmas, an information deluge and cyber security.

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"You will see a tremendous transition that IT will go through in the coming weeks, months, years," Tucci told the morning keynote audience.

Tucci listed five waves that IT has experience in its history: mainframes, mini-computers, PC/microprocessors, client servers, and the cloud. He also remarked that IT should also really stand for "Industry in Transition."

“While these waves have been massively disruptive, they also offered massive opportunity,” Tucci affirmed. “This cloud computing wave is going to be the most disruptive, but the most opportunistic.”

However, worldwide IT staffing will increase less than 50 percent this decade from 15 million in 2010 to 22 million in 2020, Tucci said. Yet, between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2019, the digital universe will grow by 44 times, equating to more than 35 zettabytes of information.

Additionally, Tucci cited that the average large enterprise is attacked in some form 300 times a week, adding that every customer he speaks with always says that’s a light estimate.

"As an industry, we have failed,” Tucci argued, noting that about three quarters (73 percent) of the average IT budget still goes to maintain IT infrastructure, rather than 27 percent going to investment in upgrade and change.

“We need to change the shape of this pie and the way it is sliced,” he added.

Enter the cloud.

“We believe that cloud computing has a lot of potential answers to these problems,” Tucci said. “It is a journey. We’re not going to get there tomorrow.”

Citing Gartner research data, Tucci said that 35 percent of IT departments started implementing a private cloud in 2010, and 30 percent are starting to implement in 2011.

Tucci posited that there are three tenets of hybrid cloud computing: efficiency, control, and choice, which together should add up to agility overall.

To use effectively use the cloud, applications have to be transformed. Internally, EMC runs on Oracle databases with over 70,000 mutual customers and six joint service centers worldwide. Tucci noted that EMC's strategy with Oracle, which includes 90 percent application server consolidation and more than 70 percent database server utilization, has equated to at least $5 million in savings during the first year.

Many of these new apps are being built in Java, Spring, Ruby, Python, either SaaS- or traditionally-based. One of the core notions (and requirements) for cloud computing, Tucci said, was seeing real-time performance and results. Overall, we are seeing a "new layering of IT," which consists of end-to-end, built-in security and a whole new layer of automation.

Tucci concluded, “I think IT is going to be a tremendous place to be over the next decade.”


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