Bigger and better – EMC Federal Government Forum ’09

This is the 2nd year that EMC has put together a “mini EMC World” for government clients located in Washington DC. The number of attendees, vendors, and sessions were all up from last year. The Forum itself seems to be more professional as well, although this could be because where it was held – Renaissance Hotel near Chinatown.

I attended the Forum with some trepidation. After attending numerous EMC Worlds, and local events, I was not expecting anything new and exciting to come out of the event. I was quite surprised. The keynote was presented by Rick Devenuti, COO of EMC CMA division. He did an excellent job presenting EMC’s vision of cloud computing (I was so caught up with it, that I had to tweet about it shortly thereafter). I was told that the slides were not that different from EMC World, but I must say that Rick’s presentation skills were a lot better than the keynotes delivered from past EMC Worlds. I was actually excited about EMC’s strategy and I now understand how all the various hardware acquisitions are being used to execute their vision of cloud computing.

Obviously, EMC storage is the foundation of the cloud services, but RSA and VMware are part of the vision as well. EMC has already built the hardware and software foundation through their Atmos product; this is their new on-demand cloud optimized storage (COS). EMC has established partnerships with various vendors to provide virtualized applications on top of the COS. The exciting part of the presentation is the connectivity and transparency that EMC will be providing to connect private clouds with public clouds. I have worked on numerous projects where high-availability was part of the initial implementation design, but disaster recovery through COOP (continuity of operations) site was an afterthought. By providing this connectivity, EMC can accelerate the establishment and deployment of these COOP sites. Obviously, EMC still has to prove to their clients, that data at the public clouds are secured and only accessible to their clients, but the potential is huge, especially with the government and its massive storage needs.

Another interesting aspect of the cloud proposition is the ability to provide environments as service. This is beyond typical hosting services. This technology is not new. VMware provided the infrastructure for this and EMC is finally selling the need as a service to its customers. Imagine not having to stand up and demo or development environment for Documentum development. This could say $$$ as well as time that it normally takes to start a DCTM project. I’m not sure what the price point is, but new DCTM clients should definitely ask their EMC reps about this service.

From a personal perspective, I connected with an old colleague that I haven’t seen for over 12 years. This was pre-DCTM days. He works for a federal agency and was attending the sessions to see which Documentum products his agency should focus on implementing, given that they bought an enterprise license a couple of years ago. It was good to hear that not everyone is moving towards Sharepoint.

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