Joe Tucci: Petabyte Scale is Real and Here Today.

joe-tucci-emc2 In every trade, companies, much like people, learn by doing and EMC Corporation is no exception. In today’s cloud, learning by doing means reaching into the fringes and pushing the envelope and it’s obvious to everyone that we’re looking at a petabyte scale world.

EMC is perhaps most well known amongst consumers for running Mozy, the online PC backup. Many readers probably know them by their clever commercials with absent-minded students getting their laptops run over by lawn mowers or putting them in the microwave instead of TV dinners. Online backup is a huge industry in a world where bandwidth is wide and storage is cheap; it does a lot for us to be certain that even if we suffer a failure of our local storage, we don’t lose all our precious data in the process. As the Internet and the digital generation grows in size, so does its need for bigger and faster storage to accompany the proliferation of digital devices.

Joe Tucci, CEO of EMC, recently spoke with analysts at a closed-door meeting in London at the EMC Megalaunch in January about his experience with big data clouds and specifically about moving information at the petabyte scale (embedded below).

EMC Corporation also owns Isilon, a storage company who recently made news when they sold 12 petabytes of data to Apple—presumably to become part of their iTunes division. As Tucci mentions, Mozy manages over 75 petabytes, casting a shadow over even Amazon’s size. EMC intends to backbone the next generation of cloud-storage and virtualization on big data scales but doesn’t intend to compete with their providers and clients in the cloud business.

In his talk, he also says that he speaks for John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, when he says that they do not want to compete with their partners and cloud business providers. Similar to EMC, Cisco also builds infrastructure that would be the foundation for big data clouds by providing bandwidth and rapid switching for huge networks. Recently, John Chambers himself telegraphed intent to move further into providing support for deep cloud infrastructures a move that will mirror and enable EMC when more customers need petabyte-scale data management.

As part of his speech, he mentioned that the biggest and most important factor after the storage angle has been pinned down is that petabyte-scale cloud management requires automation.

With over a thousand customers that have storage that exceeds a petabyte, Joe Tucci believes that this foreshadows a future of petabyte-scale cloud developments. A sentiment echoed by EMC Marketing CTO, Chuck Hollis that large scale operations give rise to big data opportunity by solving big crunch problems.

Via running with Mozy, paving the way for petabyte-scale application services, and other ventures EMC is training themselves, and therefore their partners, to survive in that new ecology. Showing that they can not only supply petabytes of data, but manage and automate the underlying structures will put them on the road to the next generation in big data scale out.