Destination: Born in the Cloud

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Untitled“No one understands the cloud. It’s a [BLEEP] mystery.” —Jason Segel

Perhaps more than a few of us got a kick out of the trailer from one of this summer’s blockbuster movies. In this clip, the cloud is the villain.

If your family is like mine, meaning not that tech savvy, so their only exposure to the cloud is limited to what’s available on their favorite Apple device, then, yes, the cloud may seem as vaporous as its heavenly counterpart.

But if you’re a tech-savvy CEO, CIO, application or data protection administrator, or business line manager, understanding the cloud and its potential value to your business has become critical. In fact, not understanding the cloud won’t be an option moving forward, which will hold true whether you’re in the IT business (like me) or a different industry altogether. We’re all on a journey, and the cloud will play a part in everything we do.

Let me explain.

To read the full post, please go to our sister site Reflections.

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.

Who Else Will Find Value in Your Data?

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“When someone steals another’s clothes, we call them a thief.
Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not?
The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry;
the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it;
the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes;
the money you hoard up belongs to the poor.”
– Basil the Great

Mark Stempeck’s latest Harvard Business Review (HBR) Blog Sharing Data Is a Form of Corporate Philanthropy got me thinking about data in yet another dimension.

For the past year or so, Guy Churchward, Stephen Manley and I have been focused on helping businesses change the way they think about data — the value they assign to it; the processes they use to better manage, access and protect it; the way they leverage it to support and develop lines of business, etc.

And I think we’ve done a pretty good job, painting the business and technology picture today as well as 10 years out. But one thing we haven’t talked much about is sharing data – that is, in the altruistic sense of the word. Continue reading

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC Corporation
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.

Is it a Boom-Box?

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There are lots of amusing videos on YouTube such as singing dogs and cats doing backflips. One of my recent favorites is a video that has kids re-acting to being given a Walkman. Some of the kids thought it was walkie-talkie, another a boom-box, most couldn’t even make a guess.   It is not surprising that kids today don’t recognize these devices and especially the cassettes that are inside. The first Sony Walkman was introduced in Tokyo on July 1, 1979. I still remember getting one for my birthday and talking it to school to impress my friends. This technology wave lasted for over a decade with music cassette sales peaking in 1990, with 442 million being sold that year. In 2010 that number was only 15,000.

As we now know, digital music created a new wave in the electronics industry, allowing 1,000s of songs to be stored on small disk drives in devices like iPods. Today there is a new wave allowing consumers to access millions, even billions of songs online.

I thought of these technology waves when I was Tokyo a few weeks ago for customer meetings.   A number of the organizations I met with were still using tape for data protection, which is not uncommon in many parts of Asia.   While tape has disappeared from pretty much every other part of the electronics industry , it still has a foot hold in IT. Some organizations have been using tape for so long they actually believe there is a legal reason to do so.   It turns out this is not the case; in fact tape is more of a liability in terms of maintaining legal and regulatory compliance.

During one customer meeting, I asked the customer to share the issues they were facing, and also what they considered to be an ideal environment – or their nirvana.   Their first priority was reducing costs, which I wrote on the whiteboard. Then I prompted them for their second priority – which they said was reducing costs. Then to really emphasis the point, the customer told me their third priority was – you guessed it, reducing costs. Of course they had other challenges but reducing costs was top of mind.

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Turns out this customer was using tape, and lots of it.  They were managing 1000s of tapes, and this caused many of their operational problems, and was also the root cause of many of their costs.  Not just the physical media, but also the cost of shipping tapes off site, the cost of managing tape operations and also managing backups separately in each of their branch offices.  Not to mention the costs associated with migrating from one generation of tape to another, and the costs associated with not being able to recover data.   An overview of EMC’s Protection Storage Architecture  really turned the lights on for this customer, and helped them understand how they could not just dramatically reduce their costs, but also help them evolve from being reactive to proactive and offering value added services back to the business units. We also discussed how they could take advantage of the next wave in data protection – cloud centric data management.

I would love to see a YouTube video in 10 years where a StorageTek tape library is shown to Gen Z  IT administrator’s.  I imagine they will respond – “Is it a teleporter”

Reference: Kids React to Walkman

Shane Moore
I have been in the IT industry for close to 20 years and started my career as an Officer in the Australian Air Force. For my first posting, I had a choice to either manage a national network of servers or run a warehouse (the physical kind). Thankfully, I chose the former and subsequently managed infrastructure in a number of public and private organizations. Later, I started selling and then marketing IT solutions for Computer Associates and now EMC. I have a passion for technology and I am excited by the way it continues to transform our lives. In my current role, I work across Asia promoting EMC’s data protection solutions, spending time with analysts and writing articles for traditional and social media. In my spare time, I provide IT support for my family and enjoy the outdoors. For the record, Top Gun is my favorite movie of all time!

The Second Machine Age: 5 Things Our Kids’ Kids Won’t Know about Retail Shopping

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  1. What it was like to purchase goods and take them with you
  2. That Walmart once employed nearly as many people as the U.S. Armed Forces
  3. What “Black Friday” was
  4. What a store credit card was
  5. What it was like to be shopping pack horses at holiday sales


  6. After reading my post on the emergence of The Second Machine Age and what it holds for the world of transportation, my boss responded, “I still prefer a clutch and a gear stick!”

    And if the comments I received from many of you are any indication, you may feel similarly. However, you also told me you are excited about the changes that lie ahead, not just for transportation, but also for other industries. This made me think about retail and healthcare, and how these industries are transforming as we speak. Continue reading

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.