Is it a Boom-Box?


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.


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


  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.

VPLEX Virtual Edition Is Software-Defined Coolness

Data center infrastructure is undergoing a massive shift. Virtualization in the data center has had a profound impact on customer expectations of flexibility and agility. Especially as customers get to 70+% virtualized, they have the potential to realize tremendous operational savings by consolidating management in their virtualization framework.

In this state, customers typically do not want to deploy physical appliances and want everything handled from their virtualization context. Similar changes in networking and storage have meant that the basic infrastructure is now completely in software running on generic hardware. This is the software-defined data center, and VPLEX is no stranger to this conversation. Continue reading

Ashish Palekar
I have been around the storage market all throughout my career. It started with learning Fibre Channel and iSCSI from the ground up and contributing to the standards body. My next gig was building processors at Trebia Networks to mediate between converting from FC to iSCSI. From there, I joined EMC. At EMC, I have focused on storage virtualization in various roles – developer, dev manager and product manager. My primary passion these days is helping our customers, partners and engineers understand why the products we are building are game changing. Equally importantly, I am focused on helping us build a business around our products and staying ahead of the market. And that means looking a little beyond the next curve and dreaming about all that can be. And you know what, it is a lot of fun!

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


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

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).