The Social Network of Machines, Software-Defined Storage, & the Data Protection Continuum

Stephen Manley

Stephen Manley

CTO, Data Protection and Availability Division
Over the past 15 years at both EMC and NetApp, I have traveled the world, helping solve backup and recovery challenges - one customer at a time (clearly, I need to optimize my travel arrangements!). My professional mission is to transform data protection so that it accelerates customers’ businesses. I have a passion for helping engineers pursue technical career path(without becoming managers), telling stories about life on the road and NDMP (yes, that’s NDMP).


The Second Machine Age is redefining our relationship with technology. From healthcare to transportation, our lives will be nearly unrecognizable to our children. Underlying this change is the next generation of the social network: a Social Network of Machines. This Social Network of Machines will be a vast infrastructure built on the Third Platform (i.e. mobile, big data, social, cloud) and fueled by near-ubiquitous metadata about machines and humans. Continue reading

Software-Defined Storage and the Protection Continuum

Stephen Manley

Stephen Manley

CTO, Data Protection and Availability Division
Over the past 15 years at both EMC and NetApp, I have traveled the world, helping solve backup and recovery challenges - one customer at a time (clearly, I need to optimize my travel arrangements!). My professional mission is to transform data protection so that it accelerates customers’ businesses. I have a passion for helping engineers pursue technical career path(without becoming managers), telling stories about life on the road and NDMP (yes, that’s NDMP).


Second Machine Age. Internet of Things. Social Network of Machines. Third Platform. Software-Defined Data Center. Buzzwords? Absolutely. But the noise isn’t just hype – it’s the sound of the construction of a new technical world. Continue reading

The Second Machine Age: 5 Things Our Kids’ Kids Won’t Know About Transportation

Guy Churchward

Guy Churchward

President, Data Protection and Availability Division
I'm an enterprise infrastructure hack. Really, if you think of my career as a building, I’ve spent it underneath in the sewer lines and the electric plumbing, making sure things work. Invariably, my businesses end up being called boring. But that’s okay. It means they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, which means their customers can do what they need to do. I come to EMC by way of BEA Systems, NetApp and most recently LogLogic, and my mission is to lead EMC Data Protection and Availability Division's efforts to deliver a protection storage architecture that leaves us all in better shape for the next guy, or gig, that comes along. Oh, and make no mistake about it, I want everyone to know who’s number one in backup, and why.


  1. What it’s like to drive a car
  2. What it’s like to queue at the DMV
  3. What’s a Taxi
  4. How buses had a pre-defined route
  5. How Top Gear was a show, not the latest fresh garms.


There’s a lot of fervor over what some of today’s best business minds are describing as The Second Machine Age. Decades in the making, the Second Machine Age represents another fundamental shift in the way we live, work and, yes, play.

Like the first Machine Age, technological innovation and the quest for automation are driving the change, but this time around it will be the automation of information (or ‘knowledge works’) that will define the period, impacting lives on a whole new level of magnitude.

In fact, while I was researching electric vehicles this past weekend, it struck me just how Teutonic these changes will be and how close they really are, which brought home how every aspect of our lives will be irrevocably different.

Continuing reading on our sister site Reflections.

Is Life in the Fast Lane All That It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.


If House Bill 459 passes the Georgia Senate this spring, starting in July, “slow-poke drivers” on GA highways will be required to get out of the way of faster drivers, else risk being pulled over and ticketed. While bill proponents say the law is all about safety, I wonder.

I just drove an 8-hour stretch on I75 last week from Atlanta to Sarasota, FL, and back, and not once did I encounter a “slow-poke driver” let alone a slow-poke driver who put my life or those of others at risk. Super speeders? Yes. Slow-poke drivers? No.

So, perhaps the bill is just another symptom of a fast world getting even faster. The race to get there (wherever “there” is) faster… and first.

Even in the world of IT, the race to do things faster and easier seems to restart daily, and this applies to those of us on the IT side buying and implementing technology, those on the vendor side developing the technology, as well as those of us straddling both worlds.

But as we all know, faster doesn’t necessarily mean easier—nor does it necessarily mean better or safer… or that you will even win in the end.

In fact, the rush to deploy new technologies can have, and often does have, negative consequences. Similarly, the rush to innovate, particularly for innovation’s sake, can have costly business effects. On the flip side, failing to deploy new technologies or adopt new ways of doing things can have paralyzing business effects.

Without a doubt, keeping pace with technology advances is a delicate dance.

Take cloud. For IT organizations, knowing what do, when to do it and with whom to do it is challenging, to say the least. And while the Dilbert cartoon that’s been circulating on LinkedIn over the past couple of weeks has made many of us chuckle in a “where in this together” kind of way, it also captures a very real picture of the uncertainties life in the cloud can present.

Yes, the pace at which new technologies are coming at us is both exhilarating and a wee-bit scary at times. Market dynamics have changed, and as they have so too have the rules of doing business.

I’ve talked about the shift downstream that organizations that want to compete successfully in today’s digital world are having to make. Larry Downes and Paul Nunes are talking about the new rules of business in their new book Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation. (They’ve proposed a new market adoption model, to replace Roger’s Bell Curve model, that has a whole lot of folks on-line and, my guess is, a whole bunch debating and discussing at business schools talking nation-wide. ) And Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee are talking about life in The Second Machine Age in their book The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.

Agree with Dawar or not. Agree with Downes and Nunes or not. Agree with Brynjolfsson and McAfee or not. Agree with me or not. Rapid change is coming.

The question that remains is, will life in the fast lane be all that’s it cracked up to be?

Be sure to check back next week when Guy Churchward shares his thoughts on the coming of The Second Machine Age.





EMC Elect 2014

Alex Almeida

Alex Almeida

Technology Evangelist, Data Protection and Availability Division
My passion for technology started at an early age and has never stopped. Today, I find myself immersed in data protection. Yep, I live, breathe and tweet backup, availability and archive. In fact, nothing short of fully understanding how things work will keep me from digging deeper. But when I’m not evangelizing on the benefits of backup or technology in general, I can be spotted at a New England Revolution game, behind the lens of a camera or listening to my favorite albums on vinyl. In addition to blogging for The Protection Continuum, you can find me on the EMC Community Network. Also, I'm a member of EMC Elect 2014, and I'm active in the New England VMware User Group (NEVMUG) and the Virtualization Technology User Group (VTUG). Let's get technical!

EMC Elect 2014

First off, I wanted to say how honored and humbled I am to be a returning EMC Elect member in 2014. I have learned so much in the first year of being an Elect that I can only imagine what greatness is in store for me and being able to learn from this fantastic group of new and returning members.

For those readers that are not sure what “EMC Elect” is about, or have never heard of it, let me explain. As posted on our EMC Community Page (Login/Account Required):

“EMC Elect is a community-driven recognition and thank you for individual’s engagement with EMC as a brand over the last calendar year.”

While that is the most concise and accurate statement describing the program at a high level, having what it takes to become EMC Elect in my mind is where the true value of this program shines through.

There are three pillars that each member selected into this program stand on:

  • Engagement - EMC Elect revolves around a person’s social engagement and advocacy for the EMC brand, its products, and philosophy. Engagement usually takes place through social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs, but can also include the level of engagement and contributions (speaking opportunities, etc.) that a member makes at industry events and conferences.
  • Commitment - This attribute comes in the form of being involved in industry conversation on a consistent basis, particularly surrounding EMC technology topics. However, more importantly, commitment is shown through constructive feedback helping efforts to improve not only EMC Elect or EMC and it’s products but also the technology industry as well.
  • Leadership - To put it simply, it’s all about initiative. EMC Elect are always ready to take the opportunity to engage and represent for the betterment of the community and the EMC Brand.

I want to go ahead and congratulate those that have been announced this morning as EMC Elect 2014. In particular, my fellow co-workers in the EMC Data Protection and Availability Division:

If you have a minute, take a look at their respective blogs and give them an EMC Elect congratulatory Twitter Follow!

While all of the EMC Elect 2014 should be recognized, the real winner in all of this is EMC’s customers and the industry as a whole. I speak for the group of Elect in saying that our main mission is to be an advocate for the EMC brand.  You are probably thinking now, “What does this mean for me?”

Our mission of advocacy is two fold. Providing you, the readers of our blogs and tweets, knowledge and a transparent view of the world of EMC. But more importantly it is also to listen and provide EMC with valuable feedback that ultimately means better service and solutions for you the customers.

So if you visit an EMC Elect blog, comment and share your views and feedback. Or, if you see an EMC Elect member at an industry event, feel free to engage, converse, and share knowledge, it’s what we as members are committed (and eager) to do!