10 things heard and seen at EMC World

Attendees from dozens of countries hear about data growth, cloud storage, and lots more

EMC held its huge annual show for customers, analysts and reporters this week. Here are 10 things we learned.

1. More than 9,000 people from 85 countries attended EMC World, held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. That includes more than 80 journalists from 36 countries, including Germany, Canada, Egypt, Finland and France.

2. One Chinese journalist had to bow out of the event to cover the aftermath of an earthquake that killed more than 34,000 people in his home country. EMC raised $175,000 from its 38,000 employees for humanitarian aid that will be sent to the devastated regions of China, according to EMC spokesman Michael Gallant.

3. The eagerly anticipated cloud storage software code-named Maui will ship this summer, EMC president and CEO Joe Tucci told reporters. EMC has been secretive about its future cloud storage offering, which will combine the Maui software with EMC's Hulk hardware, a bulk, high-density storage device. Hulk has been shipping in beta for several months, but EMC is waiting until both are ready before making a big public splash. (Compare storage products.) 

"You'll see it launched with a formal name and fanfare shortly," Tucci said.

4. EMC has averaged $1.8 billion in annual spending on acquisitions over the past four years, and Tucci said EMC will continue acquiring companies to bolster all five of its core businesses: data storage, content management and archiving, RSA security, virtualization, and cloud computing. (View slideshow of 2008's hottest tech M&A deals.)5. Tucci mentioned that EMC acquired three companies in Israel in 2006: ProActivity, Kashya, and nLayers. He hinted at more activity in that country. "We're very committed to Israel and you'll see us even more in Israel," Tucci said.

EMC will continue to increase its focus on the Middle East and other growing technology regions, including Latin America, Tucci added. "We're going to increase funding there. We're not even close to tapping the potential."

6. In his keynote address, Tucci talked about an  IDC calculator that lets people figure out how much digital information they create. Tucci revealed his own "digital footprint," which amounts to 3.8 gigabytes a day based on sending and receiving 250 e-mails a week, watching recorded television, and taking digital photographs. But your digital footprint grows larger not just through you're own actions but also when you're caught on surveillance cameras.

"I was walking through the streets of London last week," Tucci said. "There was a sign that said ‘you will be captured digitally on camera 20 times today.' There was a punchline saying 'how are you dressed?' If you walk through airports, if you walk the streets of London or a lot of major cities, you're being captured constantly."

7. The amount of digital information created and replicated worldwide is growing 60% a year, EMC storage president David Donatelli said, quoting IDC research. This amounted to 173 exabytes in 2006, a number that will grow to 1,773 exabytes by 2011.

"During good times and bad times, people's information continues to grow an average of 60% per year," Donatelli said. "Data centers don't get 60% more power and floor space each year. They have a constant challenge to keep up with this information." (Compare data center products.)

70% of information is created by individuals, but 85% is managed by businesses, he said.

8. EMC generated $5.4 billion in revenue in 2002, and $13.2 billion in 2007. It  plans to spend $1.8 billion a year on R&D going forward, and has 5,000 R&D technical employees in storage alone.

9. HP's $13.9 billion purchase of EDS isn't putting a damper on Tucci's view of his partnership with the IT outsourcer. Tucci said EDS will remain an important part of EMC's go-to-market strategy. "A lot of [EDS] customers were sold on the benefits of the best of breed Agility Alliance," he said, referring to an EDS partner program. "A lot of those customers … like EMC storage. I believe EMC and EDS will be great partners long into the future as we provide customers a really good value."

10. EMC World featured 556 sessions and keynote addresses, largely technical discussions of EMC technologies and products. Example session titles: Managing VMware with ControlCenter 6.0; Introduction to EMC DiskXtender and File Archiving; and Making a Pragmatic Move to ITIL v3.

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