Crossing the Bridge to the 3rd Platform of IT

I’m sure you’ve all witnessed this scene: your local coffee shop, Saturday morning. Young people and old people. Men and women. All of them heads down in their mobile devices tapping away. Putting social commentary to one side for a second, I continue to be amazed at the sheer volume of data these devices now generate. It’s truly staggering! The mobile applications all talk to some kind of cloud and the data is being analyzed for a myriad of purposes – not just in the consumer world, but in the enterprise as well. Mobile is driving the opportunity for cloud and big data applications… and that opportunity is huge!

The so-called “3rd Platform” of IT is changing the status quo. A new class of applications accessed entirely through mobile devices is being built and deployed in new ways, and will have a profound effect on the data center. In fact, many of these applications will not store their information in traditional file & block storage arrays. Object storage and HDFS will increasingly becoming the norm. For some applications, many will not even deploy “arrays” (hardware & software tightly integrated together) to store their information. Data center architects will instead prefer to deploy software-defined storage against commodity hardware. And they won’t stop there. We’ve seen huge increases in efficiency and reliability being realized by packaging storage together with compute and networking into converged infrastructure, and then automating the vast array of complex IT processes on top. Finally, business applications will not be confined to running in the enterprise data center. Hybrid cloud environments, blending on- and off-premise operations, will offer IT more efficiency, agility, and, most importantly, more choice.

But let’s not forget the 2nd platform. Or indeed the 1st platform. Both are alive and well in many data centers and will not go away overnight – quite the contrary. Our research suggests that over the next three years applications deployed on the 2nd platform will grow by more than 30%. But IT departments aggressively want to drive more efficiency in the way those applications are run and managed. The infrastructure needs to be consolidated, virtualized and heavily automated. And it can no longer be operated in silos of server, storage and network. An aggressive drive towards efficiency in the 2nd platform will liberate budget dollars to invest in the build out of the 3rd platform.


Herein lies the dilemma. IT is being asked to change a wheel (or two!) on their car, as the car travels down the highway at 70mph!

At EMC, we’re building a bridge between the 2nd and 3rd platforms – supporting today’s technology needs and positioning companies for where IT is heading in the future. Our commitment as a technology provider is to provide best of breed products – for every application workload in the data center. We’ve never believed in “one size fits all” and we’ve never believed that moving to a new technology involves just flipping the switch. It’s always a journey, and it’s often as much about people, process and organization as it is about discrete technology components.

We’re looking forward to helping you on your journey.

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About the Author: Jeremy Burton