By Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOM EMC launched 41 new products and a new product line that it hopes will keep it relevant in a world where cloud computing and products with a more consumer feel are changing the IT dynamic at both ends of the spectrum. In a press conference Tuesday morning, the storage giant also explained how in the coming year it plans to announce a customer who is using its gear to store an exabyte of data a decade after it first started seeing customers storing a petabyte of storage. During the launch event, EMC showed off its VNXe line — for small- to medium-size business customers — which is cheaper and contains nifty features, such as the ability to provision the hardware from an iPad, and a graphical interface that represents the hardware box, so users can determine what’s wrong. EMC “proved” how easy this system is for folks by getting a fourth grader armed with an iPad to troubleshoot the hardware. EMC also announced a new product using its $2.1 billion Data Domain acquisition for faster sending of backup information, as well as a new version of its Atmos line of software built on its $2.25 billion acquisition of Isilon. For those drowning in data, EMC offered a new version of it VMAX box that’s twice as fast, with more brains inside for processing big data. (It contains a 128-core processor to manage the memory.) The VMAX system also does away with Fibre Channel interconnects, and instead, counts on the better brains and Flash memory to provide the faster speeds. However cheesy the presentation, EMC is clearly aware of the big trends in the enterprise, and how the market is fragmenting between the high and low end. At the low end, businesses want cheap, easy-to-use and something that resembles the Apple experience. But at the high end, where there may be fewer customers, but they buy a lot of boxes, EMC is aware that speed, scale and big data are changing the way IT views storage. It’s no longer this backroom archive, but a real-time delivery system for information that could be called upon at any moment. So EMC, which said it has shipped over 10 petabytes of Flash memory last year, is trying to deliver the new future of data. It’s always on, and is the new foundation for business decision-making.
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