EMC prepares storage 2.0

EMC is developing new types of storage suited to the needs of Web 2.0 companies and says the technology involved will differ from the approach used in its current products.

EMC CEO Joe Tucci says the company is working on a new type of storage hardware tuned to the needs of Web 2.0 applications such as serving video online.

"When you work with applications like enterprise resource planning you built storage that can cope with high input/output requirements," he said at a Sydney media briefing today. "When you do video you need to do other things like manage bandwidth."

"We will build for that need and we will build it differently to traditional storage equipment."

Tucci declined to say when these products will be announced but said development is under way.

He also said that EMC feels many of its customers may not yet have a full appreciation of the company's offerings and how they can ease storage management.

Responding to a question from SearchStorage.com.au to the effect that storage users generally complain of unwelcome complexity, Tucci said that "If customers used the tools we have, things would get easier."

One of those tools, he added, is the company's Avamar data de-duplication software which he said has great potential to slow the proliferation of data. Even though this means companies will require less storage hardware, Tucci said simplification of storage environments is an area in which EMC plans to lead the market.

Price is another field in which the company has changed its tune, after noting that customers often resent the level of storage spending required to keep up with the data they create.

"Customers do not want to pay a lot for good, reliable storage," he said, half-joking. "But today on every tier we are priced very competitively. In the past we had a fair reputation for charging a premium."

Despite the lower pricing, Tucci said EMC's growth prospects remain strong, although the company expects that expanding sales of software and services will be the key to keeping margins high. Tucci will look to VMware to provide much of the growth on the software side of the business and hopes success in that sphere will boost the company's share price, which has traded in a narrow band since early 2004.

Tucci said he found the company's share price "aggravating" but added he believes the company is generally in good health and has excellent growth prospects.

"There is a horrendous amount of stuff to be stored," he said. "We'll be fine."

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