How EMC IT Does Storage

You might be used to getting storage advice from a storage vendor, but the better source might be to speak to someone in their IT group.

Such is the case with EMC IT — a great team I’ve written about consistently over many years.

It’s an interesting perspective on several levels.  EMC is a well-regarded $20B+ global enterprise in a highly competitive industry.

EMC IT also has direct and somewhat privileged access to the engineers who build the stuff, although they still have to pay for their toys just like everyone else.

Most importantly, EMC IT has successfully navigated a substantial transformation to an ITaaS model, and has refashioned itself as the internal service provider of choice for virtually every IT requirement here at EMC.

I was fortunate to speak with Srinivasa Maguluri, a long-time EMCer who is a cloud architect with the team responsible for storage architecture within EMC IT.  Like many EMCers, he is bright and passionate with a lot to share.  I’ve done my best to summarize some of the best thoughts from a presentation he gave recently.

How EMC IT does storage is probably a good example of how an IT organization deals with the inherent complexity inherent in any larger enterprise setting.  Although you’ll see references to specific EMC products here and there, I found that the frameworks and thinking broadly applicable regardless of your storage vendor choice.

See if you agree ..

One Mountain Is Always Followed By The Next One

Slide03Srini starts with creating a perspective of the “storage journeys” EMC IT has been on over the years.

The first wave was implementing ILM concepts: consolidation and tiering of storage, mostly as a cost-containment exercise.  But, like any strategy, at some point there are diminishing returns to the investments made.

The second wave was aligning the storage strategy with EMC IT’s virtualization strategy and associated converged infrastructure, dubbed here as “virtualized storage”.

And now the team is well into their third wave: transforming the storage environment to efficiently deliver an ever-expanding set of services the business wants to consume, on-demand and metered.

The slide itself is interesting, the importance of creating relevant context for an audience even more so.  One thing leads to another; no easy shortcuts.

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About the Author: Chuck Hollis