EMC (NYSE: EMC) has hired a top Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) executive to run its data storage business, the company announced today.
Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group, which accounts for more than half of the chip giant’s revenues, will head EMC’s flagship storage division, which has been headed by 18-year EMC veteran Frank Hauck since David Donatelli left for HP (NYSE: HPQ) in May amid a legal battle over Donatelli’s non-compete agreement.
The move is more than a little interesting for EMC. Intel chips — along with rival AMD (NYSE: AMD) — have been winning business from storage vendors, including EMC, while Gelsinger’s server expertise could also fit nicely with EMC’s ambitions to become an IT management player.
Gelsinger, 48, a 30-year Intel veteran, will serve as president and chief operating officer of EMC Information Infrastructure Products. He will be responsible for EMC’s Information Infrastructure product portfolio, including Information Storage, RSA Information Security, Content Management and Archiving and Ionix IT management. EMC also announced the promotion of Howard Elias, 52, to president and chief operating officer of EMC’s Information Infrastructure and Cloud Services.
Gelsinger and Elias will join an expanded Executive Office of the Chairman, which also includes EMC CEO Joe Tucci, 62, Vice Chairman Bill Teuber, 58, and CFO David Goulden, 50.
The moves also set up Gelsinger, Elias and Goulden as possible successors to Tucci when he leaves the CEO and chairman posts in three years, a decision that was also announced today. The move also turns over Tucci’s President title to Gelsinger and Elias, who will each be running separate businesses rather than sharing a co-president role.
Tucci said in a statement, “We consider ourselves highly fortunate to welcome to EMC an executive of Pat Gelsinger’s stature and depth of credentials. The totality of what EMC information infrastructure means to our customers worldwide has never been more critical. Pat’s three decades of technical and general management leadership experience will serve EMC’s customers well as they build out and blend their information infrastructures to better compete, reduce costs, minimize risk, and create ever-new levels of value from their information. We also now possess one of the strongest and most talented management leadership teams in technology. I’ve never been more excited about what we see ahead for EMC.”
Gelsinger said in a statement, that he is “thrilled with the road ahead and prospect of helping lead a company of EMC’s stature. The technology industry has undergone almost incomprehensible change over the last three decades since I entered it. The rate and pace of change and challenge is not abating in the slightest. EMC is extremely well positioned to play a pivotal role in the IT industry for decades to come, and I am privileged to join Joe and his EMC leadership team in that endeavor.”
Intel’s ‘Jasper Forest’ Set for Storage Duty
The move comes as Intel begins sampling its “Jasper Forest” processor, which was developed under Gelsinger and has been designed for data storage and communications applications.
In a briefing with Enterprise Storage Forum last week, Seth Bobroff, general manager of Intel’s Server Platforms Group — Storage, said of the Xeon/Nehalem processor, “We’ve done a lot to tailor this processor for storage.”
Jasper Forest features PCI Express 2.0 integration, RAID acceleration, and data protection features in case of power failure, and promises to do all that with less power and space.
Non-transparent bridging functionality allows multiple systems to connect over a PCIe link, removing the need for an external PCIe switch. The processors also offer asynchronous DRAM and battery backup, direct memory access (DMA), and native RAID-5 and RAID-6 hardware RAID.
The processor also offers as many as 10 variations in the same socket, so storage vendors can offer everything from low-end to high-end systems on a single platform.
Bobroff said he expects the new processor to appear in storage offerings beginning early next year. Intel is working with all the top 10 storage vendors, he said, and about 25 to 30 OEMs overall.
“We’ve engaged with many OEMS around the world on this and it’s been very well received,” said Bobroff. “So far it looks like a home run.”
Follow Enterprise Storage Forum on Twitter