Viva Las Vegas! My EMC World Experience
Last month I attended my 3rd consecutive EMC World. For those not familiar with this event, it’s a massive 4-day technical conference that covers everything from the strategic direction of IT down to the technical details of EMC products. As soon as I arrived in Vegas, it was impossible to escape the EMC World aura. For example, this was my view as I waited for my luggage at baggage claim:
Highlights from the conference included updates on new product launches such as EMC ViPR, innovations in storage technology such as XtremIO, and a heavy dose of insight in to Pivotal—the recent addition to the EMC federation of businesses. EMC World has come a long way since the inaugural event back in February 2001 when it was known as the EMC Enterprise Wizards Conference. During that event, one of EMC’s big announcements was the recent shipment of a Symmetrix system with total storage capacity of 70 terabytes. That’s peanuts compared to the multiple petabytes of storage capacity in today’s VMAX products. Here’s a picture of the Symmetrix family of refrigerators…I mean storage systems… during that era:
Anyway, while it’s no secret that EMC is a product-led company, there is a lot going on in the world of services. I spent much of my time at the show working in the 2,700 square foot basketball-themed EMC Global Services booth where our Professional Services, Education Services, and Customer Service capabilities were on full display. Here’s a picture of the booth:
In the booth, my team presented updates on some of EMC’s customer service tools and capabilities, including:
EMC Online Support—One-stop-shop for all support-related activities including Live Chat, technical documentation and downloads, knowledgebase articles, and more. This month we have started unveiling customized product information, including alerts and notifications, directly to customers. We also have a complementary (and complimentary!) support app for the iPhone with an Android version coming this month.
VNX health check—New functionality within the VNX operating environment enables an end user to administer a complete system health check in less than five minutes. This provides convenient self-diagnosis and quick identification of product issues that need attention. Fellow InFocus blogger Alan Walsh also discussed this capability in a recent blog post.
VMAX CRU (Customer Replaceable Unit)—Since what feels like the beginning of recorded time, EMC’s perspective has been that customers should never ever touch their Symmetrix (VMAX) products, and they should only be serviced by authorized personnel. Now, the ability to replace drives without the need for EMC onsite support offers new levels of flexibility for customers who are a little more hands-on. Our experts discussed the capability in this recent Ask the Expert event.
EMC Secure Remote Support (ESRS)—A proactive remote monitoring and repair capability that enables EMC to quickly detect potential problems and take corrective action. At EMC World, we checked the connectivity status of customers’ products, and I gave a presentation comparing ESRS to the legendary basketball player, musician, police officer, and actor (and more)—Shaquille O’Neal. Here’s a picture of one of my slides:
Although I was extremely busy the whole time, I still had a chance to drive out to my favorite Mexican restaurant in Las Vegas for lunch—Frank and Fina’s. Seeing Bruno Mars perform at the end of the conference was pretty cool too.
I’m already looking forward to EMC World 2014 (taking place at the Venetian, May 5-8)! Also, a big shout out to Sean Thulin for taking many of the photos included above (check out his blog at www.thulinaround.com).