The Hangover Pt. 3 (EMCWorld Recap)

Now that I’m (almost) fully recovered from the festivities of EMCWorld (where I thankfully did not get trapped on top of a hotel or get Mike Tyson’s tattoo on my face) and getting ready to head into a long weekend, I wanted to share with you some highlights from this year’s festival. Over 10,000 people came to Las Vegas earlier this month to hear how EMC is leading the way to where “Cloud Meets Big Data.” My colleague Chuck Hollis does a real deep dive into the whole event on his blog, so I won’t go too deep into the details here. Instead, I’ll spend a little time (or is it keystrokes?) focusing on the Big Data aspect of the “greatest (IT) show on Earth” <- requisite marketing plug 🙂

On Monday (“Day One” in show speak), our own Sujal Patel kicked things off with big news – the announcement of EMC Isilon’s new 108NL scale-out NAS hardware product. With the ability to scale up to 15.5 petabytes, it is the world’s largest single file system and single volume. Seriously. Same ease-of-use and simplicity, same OS, and, ahem, the most capacity in the world. No big deal.

The announcements of EMC Isilon 108NL and EMC Greenplum HD Enterprise Edition built for Hadoop- based data analytics were the cornerstones of EMC’s “Big Data” day, setting the stage for the rest of the event. From our news, to Sujal’s main stage “super session” to EMC’s Joe Tucci and Pat Gelsinger both giving us some shine in their respective keynotes; by the time the exhibits opened at 5 pm, there was a near-melee at our booth! (For real, you can check the tweets). It was a little overwhelming that even after a full day of keynotes and sessions, attendees were still amped about Isilon and wanted to dig in with our booth staff on everything from OneFS to our massive 180 node S200 in-cluster display. Goodness all around.

On Wednesday (Day Three), Pat Gelsinger and Chuck Hollis kicked off the Big Data Storage Summit, a small sub-conference at EMC World, where our customers 3Tier, Translational Genomics Research Institute and LiveOffice dove deep into what big data means to them, what challenges it creates (and how we can help), and where the real opportunity lies. Here are some takeaways from the discussion:

  • Many companies, across many industries, have huge data growth and management issues.
  • For many, big data just means more data than they can handle, which means big headaches.
  • The challenges of data growth extend way beyond just storage infrastructure – it affects servers, networks, power, cooling, floorspace, people and processes.
  • Companies are not yet organized appropriately to deal with these issues.
  • If IT could solve the management issue, folks see a lot of power and opportunity in all that data.

I do my best on this blog not to market too heavily, but I must say my first EMCWorld was unlike anything I’ve been involved in during my career. The sheer size of the event, the consistency of the energy level through three full days, the knowledge and experience of the attendees, I could go on and on. What was abundantly clear was that big data is quickly becoming a big issue for a lot of people and you can rest assured EMC and Isilon are going to be on the front lines of the solution.


Well, as part of EMC, we can now support our customers on a whole new level, while still delivering the best scale-out NAS in the industry. As we’ve been saying for a while (10 years to be precise): Big data is changing enterprise storage. So stay tuned to what’s in store.

Want to hear more about my thoughts on big data and how it’s changing enterprise IT strategy? Check out this video taken at the Big Data meetup at EMC World.

About the Author: Nick Kirsch