Interview

Helping Build Information Infrastructure : Rajesh Janey, Vice President, North and East, EMC Data Storage (India) Private Limited

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“EMC revolves around a very basic concept that information is the basic key for any government, private sector, etc. Information is the key; technology is only a piece or a way of using that information, processing that information, providing that information to somebody,” says Rajesh Janey, Vice President, North and East, EMC Data Storage (India) Private Limited, in coversation with egov magazine

Please tell us about EMC and its growth and operations in India?

EMC Corporation is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organisations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. EMC is the 9th largest technology company in the world and 6th largest software company around the globe.

EMC started its operation in India in October 2000 with a liaison office, which was converted into a wholly owned subsidiary in the year 2003. EMC has played a pivotal role in driving the growth of network storage market in India.

EMC plans to invest USD 500 million by 2010, for the following  areas: expanding storage market; research and development; and expanding marketing and sales operations. In the last quarter a lot of reception and business came from the government vertical.

Please tell us about the vision of your company and your technology solutions?

EMC helps customers in building information infrastructure. It revolves around a very basic concept that information is the basic key for any government, private sector, etc. Information is the key; technology is only a piece or a way of using that information, processing that information, providing that information to somebody. There are four main key ingredients in the information infrastructure:-

  • Storage (allows you to share): It should match with the cost of information.
  • Protection against loss and against misuse
  • Optimisation of information
  • Leverage for sharing and linking information

Store: Information infrastructure starts with storing information intelligently, and that’s what we do best. Its all about storing the right information at the right service level at the right cost. We have created the industry’s broadest range of tiered storage platforms, each a leader in its category. We have shown customers how to cost-optimise, how they use storage to meet their business requirements at the lowest overall cost. And we back it with the most comprehensive offering of services in the industry.

We think that storage is the foundation of anyone’s information infrastructure.

Protect: Information needs to be accessible at all times. A good information infrastructure should protect information availability at the right service level at the right time. We have built out the industry’s broadest array of technologies to do just that. Whether its a single application, or your entire enterprise, thousands of customers depend on EMC to protect their information. We have gone farther than most vendors, by integrating our protection products to work well with the applications you use, like databases and emails. And we have gone even farther, and shown customers how to save money by archiving information, so there’s less to protect.

Some of these technologies, like SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility), are tried and true. Others are newer. As an example, we believe that – over time – you will want to put more replication functions in the network. So we acquired a company-Kashya – that does all different kinds of protectionsynchronous, asynchronous, even continuous data protection- and  does it in the network. Its now the new RecoverPoint product.

Our goal here is simple – give you a wide range of capabilities to ensure access to information, and do it at the right cost.

Optimise:
We have talked about storing information, and protecting it – lets dig in to how we   would like to help you optimise your information infrastructure. The fi rst big idea is    intelligent information management – its using the information to tell the infrastructure what to do. Imagine you are FedEx, and someone has taken the labels off all your packages. It would be a mess to manage, wouldn’t it? But that’s exactly what we ask IT to do – manage information without labels. So, we have been building technology that can look at a piece of information, and fi gure out what to do – automatically

Some of our tools are for specifi c environments – things like EmailXtender, which can look at  an email and automatically fi gure out what to do. We have got tools for large content  repositories, like Documentum’s content storage services, which can use the metadata to fi  gure out how to store and protect information during its lifecycle.

Our latest tool in this category is Infoscape. It goes a step further by automatically discovering  all the fi les in your environment, and looking at each one individually using a  very powerful engine.

Why look at every fi le, or every email, or every database record? Sometimes, there’s an  opportunity to save money, by either deleting it, or at least moving it to another service level.  Or add value, by making it searchable. But sometimes there’s a risk in that piece of  information – a risk that needs to be managed. And you can not manage what you don’t know  about. Another area where we think we can help is in optimising resources.

We think virtualisation is the big news here, and we have been very busy assembling the core  technologies we think customers will need. Virtualisation is what we call a ‘two-fer’. There’s two big payoffs with one investment. The fi rst payoff is increased utilisation – get  more work out of your application servers, or fi le servers, or storage arrays.

But the bigger payoff is fl exibility – the ability to move an application, or a fi le system, or a    large database, and do it right in the middle of the production day without anyone noticing.  For IT guys, that’s huge. You are probably familiar with our VMware acquisition – it virtualises servers. We acquired Rainfi nity to do the same thing with fi le systems. Instead of multiple, small fi le systems, you have now one big one, and you are free to move things around behind the scenes without users noticing. And we developed Invista working with our switch partners to do the same sorts of things with storage arrays.

We have introduced two key pieces of technology that are changing the game for many of our  customers. The fi rst is nLayers, which is now the Smarts Application Discovery Manager. It sits on a network port, looks at every packet, and creates a high-defi nition real-time picture of  your IT landscape. Every application, every server, every device and every relationship.  What your world looks like, in real time, and without agents.

Leverage: How can we use all this technology to give something back to the business? How do   we help IT leverage information in new ways? That is where Documentum fi ts in. It is one  framework for unlocking the value of information you already own, and putting it to    work in new ways. If you look under the covers, you will fi nd a complete set of tools for capturing and classifying information – all types, and from all applications.

How do you protect information against unauthorised use?

Up to now, the answer was usually to lock down the infrastructure. Lock down the PC, lock the  network, lock the server, lock the database and so on. But that approach is reaching its  limits, in today’s world, its not enough. Here’s why: The fi rst problem is users – they are not  tied to one location any more. They move. They use multiple devices from multiple locations.

The second problem is information – its not tied to a single application anymore. It moves from  place to place and use to use. We think that in a world where users and information are  constantly moving, a new kind of security will be needed -informationcentric security -that  protects sensitive information wherever it goes. To do this, we needed two key technologies: The fi rst is identity and access management – the ability to have users prove who they are:  authenticate, no matter where they are, and then, based on that unique identity, authorise  what they can do and what information they have access to. That’s where RSA fi ts in – its the market leader.

The second was data encryption, and technologies which use it, like digital rights  management – to encrypt the information and wrap it in a secure envelope, no matter where  it goes. Thats where other technologies from RSA, Authentica and Documentum fi t in. Together, you have got core capability that’s needed as information security evolves – being  able to protect the information directly. And we think this will be extremely important in the future.

“EMC information infrastructure is a shared set of products, services, and best  practices for storing, protecting, optimising, and leveraging information so that  people can avoid the potentially serious risks and reduce the signifi cant costs associated with managing information, while fully exploiting its value for business advantage”

How can one government department leverage information from some other government department ?

In some of the cases it is happening, if you see, ministry of fi nance, bank will track your  transaction. Some sort of information consolidation is thus, happening. I would say how you  put that information together, is important. In that case a feedback search helps you, we need  to move with the needs.

Please elaborate a bit more on your other security solutions?

Our security focus is not on parameters (security from outside) but threat within that, where  RSA protects you. Network intelligence does something called logs, today what is changing on the server whose keeping a track, each system is capable of generating network intelligence  capture log and put it across as a common repository of logs. We have various products in this  regard, but the fact remain that we are focused on security from within and not just from outside.

This is a part, which is called Information Rights Management (IRM) and Digital Rights  Mangement (DRM) and also part of our society. For example, I have a confi dential  presentation and you can only take one slide to show it to somebody and if you breach it. Here our products like IRM and DRM stops that, it would not allow it to happen (would not allow to copy).

If I forward that mail, it will forward the mail without attachment. Similarly, if I want to  send you a link which is not allowed to be sent, the mail will go without the link, so it’s a  network security.

Various other key technologies are deployed to protect this information like there are mails. Today there is an option to edit a forwarded mail. Through the products like IRM you can not edit the message or forward a PDF. It only restricts you, you cannot forward it. So those are  the various things, RSA enable that.

What are the goverment requirement
for storage and how far they have  interacted?

Few of the government departments have brought our solutions, those have been mainly our    protection platform, right and backup. In few cases, the government has focused on storage and protection (in the form of business continuity) or a back-up requirement and also   in some cases security requirement. Recently in large government cases our security products have been acquired by our name. EMC is also very relevant for the e-Court Mission Mode Project in India, as there is a huge requirement of storing information in a format which is   tamper proof. That is where our platforms like Centera come into force which complies to all regulatory guidelines.

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