Stu goes to Wikibon

May 18, 2010

My new position is as a Principal Research Contributor for Wikibon.  This means that I will be focused on the tech, doing research and being an analyst.  Louis Gray broke the news of my new position — listen to our 8 minute interview on the CinchCast site or by clicking play below.

I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of goodwill including a blog post from Storagezilla and so many notes on my blog post, Twitter and Facebook.

@stu has a new gig which sounds pretty cool for him. We’ll miss him at EMC, but he’ll still be in the clan!

SOCIAL MEDIA + CAREERS: Another EMC ROCK STAR OFF TO GREAT THINGS … Very happy for @Stu. RT @stu: [Blog] #notgoodbye

I’m not moving — Wikibon’s HQ is in Marlborough, MA.  I will continue to post on this blog site.  I’ll need to figure out the balance of what goes on this site and what goes on other sites — feedback is always welcome.  If you’d like to follow the journey, please consider subscribing (click this link or email notification available on the right bar)

Thank you,

Stuart Miniman

Thank You, EMC, for 10 Great Years

May 17, 2010

There’s no easy way to say this—I’m leaving EMC.

There will be plenty of time to talk later on about where my journey continues. For now, let me say that I’m staying in the industry; will continue to be involved with a mix of technology, innovation and social media; and that I am not going to a competitor of EMC.

I want to thank EMC for all of the opportunities that I’ve had over the past ten years.  I’ve worked with and learned from thousands of passionate and intelligent people on countless projects.  The teams that I worked on made EMC more than just a job.  A few highlights as I look back:

  • The EMC Support Matrix (and online version, E-Lab Navigator) was a project with a global team that touched almost every corner of the company
  • EMC Select – working with numerous EMC groups, with partners and with customers, this very small team functioned like an internal start-up which yielded some fantastic financial results
  • EMC Innovation Conference – the first one in 2007 opened my eyes to the world of social media thanks to Chuck Hollis‘ presentation; 2008 pulled me into the innovation world even more as part of the selection committee; and the 2009 conference is one of the high points of my career – another global, agile, passionate team doing anything it takes to put on an event that has turned me and many others into innovation ambassadors

When I started at EMC, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, not even LinkedIn (there was 1 blogger, but it was many years later before I was even reading blogs).  In my operational role in the company, I always tried to look at processes and tools that could help improve efficiencies. The two things which can not be replaced are relationships and organizational knowledge that are built up over time.  When I got involved in social media, I networked with many Connectors inside and outside EMC.  This exponentially amplified the number of relationships that I had and the knowledge that I could tap into from many sources.

While there are so many people at EMC that I’ll miss interacting with on a daily basis, I hope that I’ll keep in touch with many of them.  Making a change is hard, and I want to thank everyone for the encouragement and support that I’ve received over the years.  I hope that through my discussions on social media internally,  I’ve helped to replace myself on the EMC Blogging Corp. The wave is here and I’ve been humbled to be able to ride some of it with Len, Jamie, Polly, Chad, Chuck, Barry, Mark, Gina, Dave, Dave, Steve and the other bloggers (including the ever-growing vSpecialist guys who have an unbeatable mix of technology and communication skills).  Please stay in touch – you know where to find me.

Stuart Miniman (email, Google Chat, Buzz)

508-561-9626 (mobile)

Twitter @stu



EMC World Cubed – Here’s all the Video

May 14, 2010

I’ve returned (but not recovered) from EMC World.  Did you watch the live video from SiliconANGLE? The over 5600 Tweets on #emcworld? Well, just in case you missed something, here are some videos and links.

First of all, on the blogger front – Len “the mayor” Devanna pulled off another fantastic blogger’s lounge – click on my “Blogger Photos” tab above for the group photo which links to Flickr where I have all of the names and Twitter handles listed.


All of the videos from “The Cube” can be found at

The videos include Joe Tucci, Michael Capellas, Pat Gelsinger, Howard Elias, Jeremy Burton, Jeff Nick, Steve Herrod, Chad Sakac, Chuck Hollis, Frank Hauck w/ the cover story customer from ON Magazine, the Women’s Executive Power Lunch with Polly Pearson, Kathrin Winkler and Gina Minks, the social media rockstar panel with Len, John Troyer, Stephen Foskett and John Furrier, and so many more that you should just take off next week to watch them all.

I too stepped into the Cube for my first live video experience.  I had three segments discussing the Converged Network announcement that EMC made on Monday.  The first segment (hosted here) was with Greg Schulz and Scott Lowe.  All three of us cover networking in our blogs regularly, so it was an easy first assignment to cover with bright, articulate guys where I know their material.

The second segment (hosted here) was with Doug Ingraham and Charles Hood of Brocade.  A good mix of the long EMC partnership, dynamics in the marketplace and what we’re seeing in the field.

The third segment (hosted here) was with Rajeev Bhardwj of Cisco discussing from how using 10Gb Ethernet and Converged Networks ties into the Journey to the Private Cloud to how EMC offering the Nexus 2000, 5000, 7000 expands the partnership.  I shot another video with Cisco which should be showing up on their EMC World microsite soon.

EMC’s video team grabbed me to discuss a variety of topics and they’ve posted this one on social media at the conference.

So much goes on behind the scenes to pull of an event, as a friend of mine has on his email “I only make this look easy!“. Feedback and comments are always welcome.

Stuart Miniman


Joe Tucci Joins the Blogging at EMC World 2010

May 10, 2010

Quick video that sums up the first day of EMC World.

The first bit is at the opening night reception where thanks to some coordination over Twitter, we got a large group of bloggers together to chat.  The next clip is in the Blogger’s Lounge – a very large gathering of press, analysts, customers, partners and EMC employees that blog along with some special guests.  He wasn’t on the official video schedule, but Joe Tucci – EMC’s CEO – made a special appearance at the live video session.  Joe brought along newly appointed CEO of Acadia, Michael Capellas.  Joe came off camera and said “I guess I’m a blogger now” – priceless!

All of the video from the live broadcast are available on and also at  Below is a photo from the social media rockstar panel including John Troyer of VMware, Len Devanna of EMC (host of the Blogger’s Lounge), Stephen Foskett of Gestalt IT and John Furrier of SiliconANGLE (the guys behind these videos).

Check out some videos, let us know what you think.  Anyone want to name all of the people in the video? If you’re new to my site, please consider subscribing, and also find me on Twitter.  Also be sure to check out the official EMC World 2010 PR Newsroom.

Stuart Miniman


EMC is Your Sherpa on the Journey to Converged Networks

May 10, 2010

I’ve spoken often on this blog about Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) as a great option for Converged Network technology.  There have been a lot of discussions on the technical maturation of standards and products for FCoE, there has been less discussion of how the operational and organizational changes of deploying a converged network will be dealt with.  To help customers work through these changes, EMC will leverage over a decade of expertise in storage networking to deliver world-class services and products for Ethernet-based storage products.  The services and products cover multiple 10Gb Ethernet solutions including FCoE, Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE), iSCSI and NAS.

EMC has travelled this path before

Learning new technologies, interoperability, best practices, trouble shooting… EMC has walked these paths many times. They understand both the pitfalls and the shortcuts, and know how to guide you even in places where vision can be blurred by lack of oxygen.  The E-Lab organization even publishes free “maps” including interoperability guides and best practices (including a full Tech Book on Ethernet and FCoE).

Confidence in choosing the right path

Even with a good map and guide, the goals of your journey can change over time, so the services and products that EMC provides are designed to allow for flexibility and growth.  The services provide you all of the tools to deploy a reliable and secure data center.  EMC isn’t on this trip alone, there is a full stack of partners to travel with you including VMware, Microsoft, Cisco and Brocade.  Wherever you are along the spectrum of upgrading to 10Gb Ethernet, deploying FCoE or rolling out a full private cloud environment, EMC can help.

Photos: (top) Grand Canyon taken by me; (middle) actual cables from E-Lab

Below are the slides of my EMC World session.  In addition to presenting the session live twice at EMC World, there is a recording of the session that attendees can get from the EMC World website.  My EMC FCoE whitepaper has also been updated and can be found here.  You can watch live streaming internet TV from EMC World discussing Converged Networks with EMC, Brocade and Cisco at 3:30pm on Wednesday, May 12th.

Stuart Miniman


VPLEX: Redefining the Boundaries of the Data Center

May 10, 2010

In March, Pat Gelsinger introduced EMC’s vision for Virtual Storage (my blog post is here). Today, EMC announced the VPLEX family of products—the first new products that deliver on the vision.  VPLEX is a Distributed Federation solution, which means that we can enable a single copy of data to be shared, accessed and relocated over distance.  When new technologies are introduced into the marketplace, people are most comfortable in making comparisons to things that they already know.  In this post, I’ll compare traditional replication solutions with VPLEX Distributed Federation.

Federation Instead of Separation

In a traditional replication solution, there is a primary site and a secondary site for failover or recovery of data.  In contrast, with VPLEX, the data is active at both sites at the same time.  Rather than putting together complex failover scenarios, having the flexibility to have active data between sites will allow for maintenance without downtime and workload balancing across multiple data sites.  Instead of thinking of “site A” and “site B” separated by policies and distance, we can start to think of our pool of federated resources that spans multiple physical data centers.  VPLEX can change how you think about deploying data centers; rather than a disaster recovery site, deploy data centers to achieve additional efficiencies (such as taking advantage of low cost energy) and performance (optimizing locations to be close to clients).

Near Today, Far Tomorrow

The network between the locations is critical for any solution to work.  Similar to replication solutions, we can consider whether a solution is synchronous or asynchronous and how the network fits into a customer’s existing environment.  Enterprise customers will typically have network connectivity between locations that are close to each other.  When these existing links have the appropriate bandwidth and other network characteristics–such as those required for replication solutions–the same links can also be used for VPLEX.  Synchronous solutions of 100km are available with VPLEX Metro today.  Longer distance (asynchronous) solutions require special links. Asynchronous solutions will be available with VPLEX Geo in 2011.

As I hinted at in my previous post, the VPLEX solution ties into other development work from partners.  VPLEX will expand the solutions of VMware VMotion (see this great VPLEX/VMotion whitepaper) and Microsoft Live Migration, plus work with the latest networking technologies from Cisco (including leveraging OTV) and Brocade.  Virtualization of your servers, network and storage redefines the boundaries of the Data Center by creating a single pool or resources separated by distance.


Click on the graphic above to go to the VPLEX launch site which includes customer videos and whitepapers.  You can also hear more about VPLEX live on May 10th with streaming internet TV from EMC World: Pat Gelsinger at will be on at 3pm Eastern and Brian Gallagher at 4pm Eastern.

Stuart Miniman


Federation meets The Cube: LIVE broadcasting from EMC World

May 6, 2010

I’m really more of a Star Wars fanboy, but while the official theme is “Journey to the Private Cloud”, I’ve seen a couple of Star Trek references:  Federation (not the guys in the red shirts, but Storage Federation) has been a buzzword around the industry.   This year, if you’re not attending, you have a chance to get a taste of the content and excitement of the event.  EMC is working with SiliconANGLE who will be bringing “The Cube” (photo above is the Federation Star Ship Enterprise meeting the Borg Cube) to EMC World – see their post, Cloud & Storage Blowout – Chowda, SiliconANGLE, The Cube, and EMC World – Shipping Up To Boston (note that due to BCEC regulations, we’ll be serving “virtual chowder” – gift cards – instead of the real thing).

As Stu Miniman says, EMC World is the Superbowl of Storage.  It’s the main industry event where the action is not just the show but the partying and side events of which we’ll be covering like a blanket.

What content are you getting?  THREE keynote speakers (2 of which will be coming directly from the stage straight to the live video), top industry bloggers & analysts, partners (VMware, Cisco, Brocade and others) and more special guests to be announced later.  Topics will span everything from Federation, Cloud and Virtualization to Social Media, Security and Sustainability.

The broadcast will be LIVE from 2:30pm-5:30pm Eastern time on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (May 10-12) and can be seen on  Here is a sneak peek at the schedule (click on the graphic below to enlarge).  Note that all items subject to change, but the people named are currently scheduled. Last Update 5/6/10, 4pm.

I’ll be participating in the Networking discussion on Wednesday.

In a recent Seth Godin webinar that I attended, Seth stated that there is something about live video that excites the caveman in people’s brains.  Giving away some free content from a show can pull people into the event, increase buzz and get people more interested in attending live the next time (see my blog post from last year discussing this).  If you won’t be at EMC World in person, I hope you’ll tune in and let us know what you think.  If you’re new to this site, please consider subscribing to this blog for my ongoing mission to cover EMC World and beyond.

Stuart Miniman


Networking at EMC World 2010

April 22, 2010

It’s the most wonderful time of the year ♪  For many of us at EMC, the busiest and best week of the year is EMC World.  This year’s event – May 10-13 in Boston – will be my 8th year attending (below is a picture of photoboxes here at corporate HQ commemorating the events).  I thought that I would share my conference agenda; if you are registered for the conference, there is a nice My Agenda Scheduler tool on the EMC World site.  I will be focusing on the networking related sessions.


Registration opens at 6pm

Welcome Reception begins at 7pm, followed by a concert with Counting Crowes at 8pm


9:30am-10:30am: Joe Tucci’s keynote – Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer

11am-noon: My presentation – Converged Data Center: FCoE, iSCSI and the Future of Storage Networking

Grab lunch and then check out the Exhibition Floor which is open until 1:45pm

2pm-3pm: Pat Gelsinger’s keynote – President & Chief Operating Officer, EMC Information Infrastructure Products

4:45pm-5:45pm: Cloud Computing Panel

5:45pm-7:45pm City of Champions Reception sponsored by EMC Select – I hear that there will be Hall of Fame baseball players and equipment from the Baseball HoF


8am-9am: FCoE Topologies, Protocol and Limitations presented by Erik Smith from E-Lab who is our primary representative for T11 (this session will also be repeated at 8:30am on Thursday)

9:30am-10:30am: Brian Gallagher’s keynote – Symmetrix & Virtualization Product Group

Exhibition Floor is open from 10:30am-1:45pm

3:30pm-4:30pm Cisco: Workload Mobility across Data Centers with innovations from VMware, Cisco and EMC – includes Cisco OTV and VMware VMotion across data centers

Tuesday is the best night to go out for a nice dinner and there are also typically a number of parties (you can usually find out details from vendors on the Exhibition Floor).


8am-9am: Birds of a Feather sessions, which are designed to be an interactive discussion.  E-Lab will be hosting “Future of Storage Networking”

2pm-3pm: 2nd run of my presentation – Converged Data Center: FCoE, iSCSI and the Future of Storage Networking

5pm-6pm: Virtualization Technology and Directions presented by David Black, PhD – this is a great overview covering how virtualization technologies and solutions are applied to network, server and storage.

Wednesday night is the big conference event at Faneuil Hall.

There are also plenty of great sessions on Thursday, but I’m usually wiped out by Wednesday night.

Where to Find Me

During some of the Exhibition Floor hours, I will be in the EMC Community Network (ECN) booth for discussions about the Innovation & Research community that we have on Labs.

When not in a session or on the Exhibition Floor, I will be spending time at the Blogger’s Lounge (sign up at the wiki).

For those not attending EMC World in person (there is still time to register), there will be a microsite where you will find Twitter, blog and video updates from the conference (I’ll post the link as soon as it’s available).  The official Twitter account for the conference is @emcworld and the hashtag is #emcworld.

All times at the conference are subject to change.  I’ll post any updates or additional sessions of interest on this site.  I’m looking forward to all of the discussions in person and on-line.  Please post comments below or ping me on Twitter if I can be of any assistance.  If you’re new to this site, please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman


Tapping into blogger communities

March 31, 2010

What is a blogger?  Not only are there the corporate and independent bloggers, but many bloggers don’t fall into the well defined traditional buckets such as marketing, press, or analyst.  While companies have mostly tackled how they will allow their employees to participate in the social world, how can companies engage and tap into the fast-changing communities of external bloggers?

Over the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of participating a number of events that have tapped into blogger communities – see my Blogger Photo wall for some of them.  Bloggers are always looking for connections and information, so if you can bring together a group that have similar interests around an event is a good way to build some goodwill.  Most bloggers are rather social and many are including photos and videos, so make sure to give them time to socialize and appropriate power, networking and  interview areas.

Here are 3 upcoming events of blogger communities:

The brainchild of Stephen Foskett, the 2nd Gestalt IT Tech Field Day is coming to Boston on April 8th and 9th.  As described on the website: “This unique event brings together innovative IT product vendors and independent thought leaders, allowing them to get to know one another. It is a forum for engagement, education, hands-on experience, and feedback.”  EMC is a sponsor of the event which provides us with 3 hours where we are looking forward to good technical discussion.  These events help to increase connections and is a clear benefit to both the attendees and sponsors by building a tighter sense of community.  One of the aspects of the event that I really like is that there is time for discussion and socialization built into the schedule.  You can follow the event on Twitter using #TechFieldDay.

We are in full preparation mode for this year’s EMC World, which is being held in Boston from May 10-13 – see the site for registration details.  Len Devanna is bringing back the highly successful Blogger’s Lounge to this years show.  Looks like we’ll have an interesting mix of tech bloggers, social media experts, press and analysts.  I had so many good conversations at last year’s event that I had lost my voice by Wednesday.  Bloggers can sign up for entrance on this wiki.  In addition to the usual broad spectrum of keynotes and technical presentations, I’m hearing that a lot of the podcasts and industry calls that normally take a week off for the conference will be broadcast from EMC World this year.  It will be like the Superbowl week for the storage industry.  If any bloggers have questions about attending or partners have questions about tapping into some of the special events, feel free to drop me a note and I’ll be happy to help connect you with the appropriate people.  You can follow the event on Twitter using #emcworld.

The third event is the World Innovation Forum which is held in New York City on June 8-9th.  HSM Americas started a blogger’s lounge for the World Innovation Forum and World Business Forum last year and they were both tremendous events.  In addition to the world class speakers, they helped to create a community of bloggers from diverse industries.  The bloggers are given access similar to press which included special seating, plus the very necessary network and power connections.  The Twitter activity and blogging posts increase the conference’s reach around the world and continues the discussions long after the conference has ended.  There are so many things that can be learned by reading and interacting with bright and engaged people with very different points of view.  If you can’t make this event in person, you can follow it on Twitter using #wif10.

Have you seen any other interesting engagements with blogging communities?  I hope that you’ll join some of the upcoming events, either in person or through conversation on Twitter or through this blog.  I’d love to share any viewpoints or questions from the community at these events.  If you’re new to this site, please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman


Virtual Storage, not just another V-word

March 11, 2010

In the realm of storage, I have spent most of my time outside of the storage box, especially how storage networking, servers and operating systems (OS) impact storage.  I began working with Cisco and VMware long before the VCE initiative.  Some of the broad industry trends that we have seen across the OS and network stacks are also applicable to the storage layer.  Pat Gelsinger, EMC’s President and Chief Operating Officer of Information Infrastructure Products, spoke today with a group of analysts to lay out a vision for Virtual Storage.  The audio and slides of Pat’s presentation can be seen here (may request your email address to view).

This strategy relates to Private Cloud. If you look at the diagram below, virtual storage lives in the virtual information infrastructure layer.

To understand the trends, let’s look at the OS and network layers of this stack.

Server Virtualization is much more than hypervisors

The first thing that most people think about when they look at server virtualization is how it can help consolidate resources, which leads to a reduction in hardware and therefore to savings in power and space.  When I think back to my first interactions with VMware in 2003 (when I was in EMC’s E-Lab), it was actually the abstraction/isolation of an environment that was so useful.  Old operating systems (Windows NT) or “odd” environments (FreeBSD) could be put in a VM and EMC’s storage could then support the configuration.  In addition to extending the life of an existing configuration, VMware is tremendously valuable for test and development environments.  Around the time that we were first working with VMware, they came out with a product that everyone thought was magic when they first saw it – VMotion:  Live Migration of a virtual machine.  The liberation gained with this feature turned a useful/interesting product into a game changer.  Individual server resources could be turned into a pool of resources.  With the addition of VMware Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS), VMotion becomes automated.  As a final note here, take a look at some of the plans around extending VMotion over distance that were discussed at VMworld last year.

Convergence and Cloud Internetworking

As with server virtualization, the first step towards network virtualization is consolidation of resources.  With the adoption of 10Gb Ethernet and storage protocols such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI and NAS, we reach a single network for LAN and SAN traffic: a building block of the private cloud.  In particular, FCoE allows existing infrastructures built on FC to move towards a unified environment.  Another enabler of cloud internetworking is Cisco’s Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) which they unveiled last month.  OTV allows for mobility of resources across datacenters or with a compatible service provider.  OTV leads networking down the same path of automation and mobility that we have taken with server virtualization.

Virtual Storage, not just another V-word

As my mainframe friends have told me, virtualization is not a new idea, and storage virtualization has been available from EMC and competitors for many years.  Similar to what is happening in the OS and networking stack, Virtual Storage goes beyond the basic functionality prevalent in the market today  by adding flexibility and automation.  The goal is to transform individual storage resources to a pool using Federation.  As defined on the Wikibon site, Federated Storage enables a “loosely coupled set of storage resource nodes to act unilaterally and still be managed centrally, organizations can create networks of virtually limitless capacities and eliminate disruptive migrations”.  While many vendors may be working on federation, Pat Gelsinger discussed EMC’s vision, in which an enabling Distributed Cache Coherence technology allows for Global Federation.   In a recent Forbes interview, Pat discussed the value of leveraging federation over distance:

“I want to flexibly move those across shared infrastructure, which can drive up the utilization dramatically. I also can get load balancing across data centers, do mainframe-like high-availability and failover. I also can build a cloud-like architecture that’s private and then federate from my private cloud to my external environment, where I can have spillover.”

Similar to what we’ve seen in the OS and networking stack, virtual storage will allow the use of both old and new resources, regardless of location – providing an onramp to adoption of a Private Cloud model.  As Chuck Hollis has said: “And maybe we can start thinking entirely differently about that age-old catch phrase of “IT delivered as a service”.”

Comments are always welcome.  You can be sure that we’ll be talking a lot more about this at EMC World, May 10-13 in Boston.  I will be presenting Converged Data Center: FCoE, iSCSI, and the Future of Storage Networking.  Any bloggers that are attending should sign up for the Blogger’s Lounge.  Hope to see you there.

Stuart Miniman