Storage Expo: EMC butterflies from storage to info management

Despite headlining at the aptly-named Storage Expo trade show in London today, EMC chose a keynote speech to stress the importance not of containers but of content.

"We are living in extraordinary times. In fact, I think it's fair to say we're living in unique times," said Mark Kenealy, EMC's director of technology solutions.

"[But], that's very good for storage as it will drive more demand for information and drive more demand for compliance. It might seem strange to say this at Storage Expo, but I don't think it's about the storage anymore. It's about the data We want information, we want it instantly and we want it in pretty much any format."

Detailing the numerous acquisitions the company has made as it morphs into a bigger force to be reckoned with, Kenealy detailed the importance of encryption citing recent high profile data losses as cases in point.

"I don't think unless your information is protected that you can manage it We [as industry professionals] will be responsible for data that we don't even know is out there and you will be expected to manage it wherever it goes. We have to protect it and we have to manage it properly," he affirmed.

Referencing its recent acquisition of security specialist RSA, Kenealy said the fruits of that arrangement would soon start to be borne.

"We're starting to now build in security into equipment as people are expecting it," he said before giving a brief glimpse into the future by adding: "We're now taking the next step and moving into cloud computing."

EMC's movements to butterfly itself into a more widely-focused operator point towards an interesting trend, according to Rene Millman, senior research analyst at Gartner.

"It's interesting that they're heading into that business intelligence market. It signals that companies need to look outside storage to grow their businesses. It's all very well just having storage but you've got to be able to work that data within the storage infrastructure to gain the value from it."

But does that mean storage as we know it is dead? No doubt, a question many worried industry players might naturally ask when the bigger boys start diversifying.

Millman thinks there is life in the industry yet. "Storage is far from commoditised," he said. "There are tremendous amounts of money to be made from it still, even with the troubled economic times we're facing at present."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.