RealTime IT News

What's Cooking in EMC's Labs?

EMC  today debuted Innovation Network, a global community comprised of EMC research and university research partners determined to solve challenges posed by the current information explosion.

IDC projects that info explosion, which includes e-mail, images and other digital documents, will rack up 988 billion gigabytes in 2010.

Map that explosion in digital information against the complexity of IT infrastructure and constrained budgets, and you get a major challenge, said Jeff Nick, EMC's senior vice president and CTO.

"How do you backup, manage, index, search, secure, protect and archive that information in the face of a constrained IT budget?" Nick said in an interview with internetnews.com. "That requires a fundamentally different approach, which is policy-driven information lifecycle management (ILM) automation."

With such goals in mind, Nick said the EMC Innovation Network, led by former chief scientist for RSA Laboratories Burt Kaliski (RSA is EMC's security division), will study how IT is delivered, used and managed. Research will cut across a variety of areas reflective of EMC's evolution into an information-management vendor.

Areas of study will include semantic Web and search; RFID ; storage that scales to the millions of users of the current Web 2.0 phenomenon; service-oriented infrastructures for IT orchestration and business insight; information-centric security; real-time information grids; and virtualization.

Nick said the Web 2.0 world of integration, loose coupling, application composition and orchestration make it imperative for EMC's R&D teams to tackle the information-management challenge and map business processes to IT with a service-oriented infrastructure.

EMC Innovation Network will tap the talent of its approximately 5,000 technical R&D employees, bringing together research resources in EMC India, China and Russia-based labs with the hopes of boosting yields from EMC's $1 billion+ annual R&D budget.

EMC researchers will work more closely with Carnegie Mellon University's Parallel Data Lab; Indiana University's Data and Search Institute; RFID Consortium for Security and Privacy, Stanford University's Applied Crypto Group; and University of Michigan's Center for Information Technology Integration.

Kaliski and a team that includes Ari Juels, head of RSA Laboratories, and Wenbo Mao, an industry researcher who recently joined EMC to lead EMC's China-based research group, will report to Nick.

In some ways, EMC's Innovation Network is a shadow of R&D efforts from venerable stalwarts IBM  and HP .

However, Nick, who once led IBM's on-demand business push, stressed that EMC will not open up its lab so customers, media and analysts can get an idea of what's in the oven.

While Nick noted that not all of the research will see the light of day, he said he expects some of the technologies currently in incubation in EMC Labs to appear in some products later this year.

Nick declined to be more specific.