EMC to offer storage-as-a-service

Storage giant announces plans to enter the growing on-demand IT services market in a move that will support the growth of software-as-a-service, grid computing and help companies manage short term storage spikes.

Storage and enterprise software specialist EMC has announced ambitious plans to offer a storage-as-a-service (saas) product.

As part of his keynote address at EMC World in Orlando, EMC chairman and chief executive Joe Tucci, also reaffirmed plans for the floatation of virtualisation software business VMware and plans for zettabyte levels of storage management.

Tucci today told delegates that "over the decade between 1996 and 2006, global storage grew by 60 per cent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) to around 151 billion gigabytes, or 151 exabytes. University of California, Berkeley, estimates that one exabyte is the equivalent of all the grains of sand on the planet.

"In 2006 we added 161 exabytes of data. Between now and then, growth will be so high that we will hit 988bn gigabytes or almost one zettabyte. This figure comes from a recent report that EMC commissioned from IDC and which is entitled The Expanding Digital Universe."

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What is driving a lot of this growth, according to Tucci, is the end user. Not in a business sense but from the amount of data generated via digital cameras, mobile phone cameras, video recorders and music downloads. The rise in storage that this is generating is not being stored in the home. "We are seeing a lot of data generated through social networking on sites such as YouTube. The most downloaded video has been viewed almost 100m times.

"Students, for example do not use email Instead they meld content to create collective experiences. Then they want to access this wherever they are on whatever technology they possess."

Tucci then went on to talk about how much of this data will be held in managed storage systems. "Availability and remote replication are essential parts of Disaster Recovery processes. Managing data long term is going to a disk, not a tape based solution. EMC is moving to a saas (storage as a Service) data vault where data will be stored offsite based on cost per byte or by the provisions of the service level agreement."

For the consumer, there are already managed data solutions out there via email providers. For large companies, EMC intends to work with partners to plan data centres and managed storage through its own services that would be targeted at people who didn't have megabytes or even gigabytes to store but tens or hundreds of terrabytes and even petabytes.

Tucci closed his keynote by saying "we have a mission to assuring that information is available securely quickly and easily anywhere at anytime."

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