Westcon’s Imagine Conference – All about next generation computing.

By Clive Gold, CTO Marketing, EMC Australia and New Zealand.

Westcon’s Imagine event is on, (Sydney last week and Melbourne tomorrow). The Sydney event had an incredible buzz about it, with over 500 people in attendance. Kevin Bloch, Cisco’s local CTO gave the opening keynote, with the usual flare of a Cisco presentation. Kevin outlined the four key transitions that are happening today; Social, Video, Mobile and Virtual. (Very much in-line with Geoffrey Moore’s position of Access, Broadband and Mobility here). Some interesting statements and proof points, like:

  • Jess Cooper’s Facebook party invitation, (google it)
  • Every market is being disrupted by digitisation, as digitisation means cost decreases.
  • Estimated that by 2015 every Australian will have over 3 connections to the internet.
  • Technology is the second most important factor to business leaders planning for 2012.
  • Cisco had a 200% improvement in user sat, under their BYO policy.

I decided to try and mix it up a bit and structured my presentation around “disruptive technology”. Essentially looking at the massive effect that multi-core CPU’s, FLASH and low cost disk capacity is having. Which followed on from Kevin’s presentation rather well, and since it was un-rehearsed it seems like there is a good reason why EMC and CISCO work so well together.

CPU: Used to build more intelligent technology. The interesting shift here is to build expertise and not just features into machines, like the VNXe. (After all EMC knows a little about how to setup and manage storage!!)

FLASH: Bridging the ever widening performance gap between CPU and mechanical drives. The killer storage technology FAST, (fully automated storage tiering), has broken the ‘mechanical’ trade-off of structuring storage to provide performance OR utilisation. (Fast or Cheap). Now EMC delivers both and not just from a purchase and setup point of view, but being automated the administrators can move their focus to adding value to the organisation.

Low cost Capacity: The rush to convert tape to de-duplicated disk. Similar to the above, the world of tape based backup has become one of many trade-off’s, e.g.: Backup quick-> restore slowly; implement features->raise complexity; cut cost->raise risk. Now with the performance of the Data-Domain technology, (starting at under $10k), no more downside to data protection.

What surprised me was the number of sessions that also were themed on next generation technologies now available, (even re-architected firewalls!)  Well done to Westcon an interesting and stimulating day, let’s see what Melbourne can deliver!


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