3 Not So Obvious Reasons To Go To EMC World

What about EMC World?

It’s EMC’s biggest event of the year. And, whether you attend in person or not, you’ll hear about new technologies and new products next week in Las Vegas, in the press, and on the Internet.

You’ll join more than 10,000 of your best industry friends in a four-day mind-blowing, brain-dump about the latest in Big Data, cloud, storage, and more. Then, and afterwards, you’ll also be able to view sessions on-demand, read media coverage, and see videos and out-takes on YouTube.

It wasn’t that long ago when EMC World and its predecessor was an event about data storage. Well, in many ways, the event still centers on the industry’s leading storage, but so much more has come up around the core storage for cloud deployments that this year’s gathering in Las Vegas, May 21-24, highlights how important and central software and services are to IT transformation.

Not So Obvious Reasons

Storage administrators and architects, data center managers, and more descend on Las Vegas for this annual event to learn about the latest from EMC. In recent years, this spring-time event has become the time of year when all-that’s new at EMC gets unveiled.

If you’ve been watching carefully, you will have noticed that the event has evolved from a storage-centric user group meeting to a data- and cloud-centric event that’s raised the conversation to a new level truly fitting the tag line used this year: Transform IT, Transform Business, Transform Yourself.  Many of the technologies are transformative because they employ new architectures and new ways of doing things in the data center.

You might have your own list, but my top 3 not so-obvious reasons to attend EMC World 2012 include:

1. It’s About Software

By my estimate, after a quick assessment and count of the published sessions agenda, most of the sessions (93%) are software and services oriented whether or not they include hardware, rather than only about storage hardware. In fact, only one topic area out of 15 (Storage Platforms, FAST, and Flash) is solely about storage. The emphasis is on deploying, managing, securing and protecting, and analyzing data in virtual and cloud deployments.

Among the innovations, you can expect to learn about new offerings in infrastructure management, replication, high-availability, and more. If you’ve been following this blog even casually, you’ll see the introduction of technologies hinted at here in recent weeks—and in some instances, get the chance to interact with these offerings in a number of hands-on labs at EMC World.

This emphasis on software probably makes sense given where we are as an industry today.  But, please keep in mind that, though EMC has made many software acquisitions through the years (e.g. VMware, Legato, Documentum), it’s only recently that it’s all come together. EMC the storage company is so much more and getting the recognition for innovation beyond just spinning spindles (which we still do very well, thank you). Case in point: a senior technologist from our CTO office, Cornelia Davis told me she was recently on a panel at an industry-conference and was introduced as being from EMC, the software company.

2. There’s a Full Agenda

Las Vegas casinos are known for their lack of windows and clocks; all the more reason to keep you engaged pumping money into those slot machines. But, EMC World is run like clockwork with an agenda packed with keynotes, breakout sessions, hands-on labs, and vendor exhibits, as well as one-on-one meetings between vendors and customers and analysts.

From early morning to well into the evening, there’s a steady stream of information presented in multiple formats including lecture and lab sessions, with some more creative forums too like EMC TV, and the many blogs pumping out a stream of updates, and Twitter. If this year’s event is anything like last year (and it will be, but better), I probably won’t see the light of day for at least the first three days of next week. But, I can’t really complain because I didn’t even notice until the fourth day last year.

3. It’s Really Fun

EMC World is fun. After all, it’s Las Vegas! You get formal sessions, a Maroon 5 concert, our own senior vice president Chad Sakac doing gut-busting skits (last year it was Chad and the flying Elvises), and a giant blender serving margaritas with your software at a tiki hut—though, I’m not sure if I’m suppose to mention this one (Hint: the booth number is mentioned in this post).

Where else can you have so much fun with technology?

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) comes to mind for the latest in gadgets and technology for the home. But, unlike other events, EMC World is like the Disney of high-tech trade events. EMC World is enterprise-class technology solutions for professionals.

Where to Go

With many possibilities, you need to choose your time wisely. If like many data centers, you are well into virtualization and need to get a better handle on how you orchestrate or manage your resources.

Bespoke solutions, reference architectures, and single-SKU offerings like VCE Vblocks are all alternatives for deploying virtual building blocks for rapidly scaling-out agile cloud. To get the most out of these technologies in production environments, it’s increasingly clear that data centers often need a software refresh to their current tool sets for storage management, infrastructure management, and replication across their heterogeneous data centers.

With this in mind, I suggest you check out the solutions pavilion at EMC World for the latest in storage management purpose-built for the cloud; management solutions for single-SKUs; replication solutions that protect applications; enterprise mashup software, and more. Visit booth 353, in particular, to see these technologies in action.

Remember the not so-obvious when you attend EMC World this year: it’s about software (and hardware and services), there’s a full schedule and lot’s to take in–and, just as important, it’s really fun!

See you in Vegas!

About the Author: Mark Prahl

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