Free and Frictionless Downloads of EMC Software-defined Solutions Now Available

Sam Grocott

Sam Grocott

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management at EMC ETD

You’ve been hearing a lot from EMC about our software-defined storage (SDS) offerings and how you can use them to build a more adaptive, agile storage infrastructure. But enough talk — it’s time you tried these products in your own environment and experienced those benefits firsthand. To that end, we’re offering Free and Frictionless downloads of these SDS products: ECS, ScaleIO and IsilonSD Edge.

Free and FrictionlessFree and Frictionless means just what it says: downloads at no cost, easy installation on your preferred hardware, testing on your own terms and timeline — and then, once you’re ready to go into production, a simple, direct route to purchase. It’s our way of enabling you to see for yourself exactly how EMC software-defined storage can benefit you before you invest any budget in it.

These aren’t streamlined trial-only versions, either. They’re full-featured, enterprise-grade offerings that cover the following SDS products:

  • ECS, EMC’s software-defined, elastic cloud storage platform for web, mobile and cloud applications
  • ScaleIO software-only, server-based SAN with scale-out performance
  • IsilonSD Edge provides SDS solutions for enterprise edge locations including remote and branch offices

Just click on these ECS, ScaleIO and IsilonSD Edge links and start using the software for free right away. Installation is automated and takes about 15 minutes, and every product comes with automated configuration management, too. Try it, use it, share it within your organization, innovate with it — whatever you want to do is going to be easy and effortless, so go for it.

Only when you’re ready to go into production do you pay for anything. And that’s easy, too: Just choose whether you want to continue with the software-only product or buy it as part of an EMC storage solution, and then visit the EMC eStore You have ample opportunity to experiment with our products and you won’t have to spend any dollars until you’re dead sure. At that point, you also get the combined weight and power of EMC’s entire support infrastructure behind you.

But that’s later. Right now, go get your ECS, ScaleIO and IsilonSD Edge versions of the EMC software-defined storage product you want to try. This is where the rubber meets the road. And you don’t even have to talk to a tire salesman.



EMC’s Commitment to Everything Software-Defined

Varun Chhabra

Varun Chhabra

Director of Product Marketing, Advanced Software Division at EMC

At EMC, our commitment to creating new solutions for software-defined storage is part of our much larger commitment to supporting the entire software-defined data center infrastructure, in which software, completely abstracted from hardware, enables more adaptive, agile operations. Within the software-defined data center, EMC’s evolving suite of software-defined storage solutions plays an important role in addressing the explosive data growth – both in the volume and variety of data — that poses such a tremendous challenge today. We’ve designed these solutions with features like elastic scale-out to incrementally add storage capacity, open APIs for programmatic flexibility and support for analytics-in-place workloads. With software abstracted from hardware, customers can deploy these and other storage capabilities on the hardware of their choice rather than being locked into a narrow proprietary hardware platform, which means vendor flexibility, lower acquisition costs and more efficient storage provisioning for lower TCO over the long term.

In recent years, EMC has beenCommitment to SDS leading the way in introducing new software-defined storage platforms as well as working to transition our existing industry-leading storage solutions into the software-defined model. We entered the software-defined storage market in 2013 with ViPR Controller, which automates storage provisioning to reduce manual tasks and improve operational efficiency by up to 63%. It delivers storage-as-a-service to consumers, minimizing dependencies on the IT team. Since then, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to providing customers with a comprehensive software-defined storage portfolio. We’ve launched ScaleIO, a server-based storage area network (SAN) with a wide variety of deployment options – available as software on commodity hardware, as an appliance (VxRack™ Node) and as VxRack converged infrastructure from VCE (VxRack Flex System) that can linearly scale performance to thousands of nodes in a single federated cluster. On the cloud/object storage front, we’ve launched Elastic Cloud Storage, or ECS, a software-defined cloud storage platform that is built specifically for web, mobile and cloud applications, designed to run as a software-only solution on existing or commodity hardware. ECS scales effortlessly, and provides benefits such as superior economics and global access associated with the public cloud, while minimizing data residency and compliance risks. Both ScaleIO and ECS are also available for consumption as appliances or as software-only solutions.

Moreover, our software-defined products have very tight integrations with other EMC products. For example, our customers can use ScaleIO in conjunction with EMC XtremCache for flash cache auto-tiering to further accelerate application performance. And those who seek advanced-level protection and recovery for their confidential data can use ScaleIO with EMC RecoverPoint to provide replication and disaster recovery protection in ScaleIO environments.

We also made our EMC Isilon storage family, which has long provided industry-leading scale-out storage for unstructured data, available as a software-only solution. Available now, the Software-defined EMC Isilon (IsilonSD Edge) provides the same ability to manage large and rapidly growing amounts of data in a highly scalable and easy-to-manage way, but with the added benefit of hardware flexibility. Customers can deploy IsilonSD Edge on commodity hardware and easily manage enterprise edge locations including remote and branch offices, replicate the edge data to the core data center and seamlessly tier to private or public clouds.

As our customers move into the new world of software-defined IT, EMC provides a solid base on which to build the scalable, flexible infrastructures that will transform your data centers to meet the future head-on. Our growing portfolio of software-defined storage solutions is a fundamental component of that base, providing a range of scale-out solutions to meet rapidly growing and changing data demands.

To keep up with more EMC SDS information and trends, visit:


The EMC Portfolio Approach to Next-generation Storage Technology

Suresh Sathyamurthy

Suresh Sathyamurthy

Sr. Director, Product Marketing & Communications at EMC

EMC is approaching the emerging revolution in storage technology development with a portfolio of advanced tools and solutions. These storage solutions are engineered to adopt and grow with the next-generation of big and unstructured data generated from diversified industries.

As data begins to inundate the marketplace, file types and sizes are becoming more extreme, mutative and mountainous than ever before. IT departments are tasked with managing constant streams of data from the cloud, social platforms, mobile devices and the web, as well as other sources never before realized by traditional BI and on-premise content management infrastructures. Software-defined storage (SDS) represents the leading edge of storage solutions, and EMC is positioned at the helm.

EMC’s depth of industry expertise SDS Portfolioand emerging tech software development experience have informed the creation of a suite of solutions that can be tailored to meet the needs of organizations transitioning to SDS, those working to incorporate SDS technology into their existing storage infrastructure, or those looking to redefine how they use, gather, maintain and manage the constant influx of data on which their businesses depend.

What sets EMC apart is a grander vision for SDS as a driving concept that should span how storage will be delivered now and in the future. EMC is embracing, redefining and disrupting the industry standards to deliver vendor neutral, open-standard APIs that allow products to be used as a standalone platform or part of a full cloud deployment, like OpenStack. Open source community editions increase flexibility and reduce risk.

EMC software-defined storage products improve and provide new means of organization and delivery models for file, block, object, HDFS and hyper-converged storage, as well as next-gen rack scale, data center and hyper scale-out storage. These products include IsilonSD Edge (scale-out file storage), ScaleIO (scale-out block storage) and ECS (cloud-scale object storage). The flexibility of EMC SDS solutions makes them available as appliances or free and frictionless downloadable software that can be installed on industry-standard hardware.

The sophisticated nature of EMC’s broad selection of SDS solutions allows easy integration into existing content management schemes without massive hardware replacement investments, new staff integration or performance downtime. SDS allows complete control over protocols, access, interface and data management within the systems, removing extraneous nodes, access points and machinery from the content management experience. This achieves more streamlined IT processes with reduced hardware, software, training and staffing costs and the ability to grow and adapt as the advancements in data collection and formatting continue.

The portfolio of SDS solutions developed by EMC allows organizations to not only better collect, protect and store next-gen data types and proportions, but to provide the possibility of streamlined growth as technology transforms, providing multi-generational, cost-effective options for the future of IT sectors everywhere.

Learn more about how EMC SDS solutions can prepare your enterprise for the future of big data. Stay up to day on everything SDS at

New EMC Isilon Products Now Available for Your Data Lake Journey

Suresh Sathyamurthy

Suresh Sathyamurthy

Sr. Director, Product Marketing & Communications at EMC

In November 2015, EMC announced the upcoming release of new Isilon products to help organizations expand their data lake to enterprise edge locations and the cloud while strengthening it at the core data center.  We’re now very pleased to report the immediate availability of IsilonSD Edge, Isilon OneFS 8.0 (formerly OneFS.NEXT), and Isilon CloudPools. Together, these products can transform the way your organization stores and uses data—whether at the edge, the core or the cloud – by harnessing the power of the data lake.

A data lake based on EMC Isilon scale-out NAS offers a number of important advantages:  With it, organizations can consolidate file-based, unstructured data, eliminate costly storage silos, simplify management, increase data protection, and gain more value from their data assets.  Leveraging built-in multi-protocol capabilities, Isilon supports a wide range of applications and workloads on a single platform—including data analytics that can be used to gain better insight and identify new opportunities for organizations to accelerate their business.

Start at the Core
A great place to begin your journey to the data lake is at your core data center.  If your organization has not already done so, you’ll want to contact your EMC representative or authorized reseller about consolidating your unstructured data with Isilon storage. They’ll also be able to describe key Isilon advantages including:

  • Simplified management: Single file system, single volume, global namespace
  • Massively scalable: Scales from 16 TB to over 50 PB in a single cluster
  • Unmatched efficiency: Over 80% storage utilization with automated tiering and data deduplication options
  • Enterprise data protection: Efficient backup and disaster recovery, and N+1 thru N+4 redundancy
  • Robust security and compliance options: RBAC, Access Zones,  WORM data security, File System Auditing, Data At Rest Encryption with SEDs, STIG hardening, CAC/PIV Smartcard authentication, FIPS OpenSSL support
  • Operational flexibility: Multi-protocol support including NFS, SMB, HTTP, FTP and HDFS, Object and Cloud computing including OpenStack Swift

If you’re already using Isilon, then you’ll want to take advantage of the new Isilon OneFS 8.0 operating system which extends these benefits by providing enterprise-grade, continuous data center service and non-disruptive upgrade capabilities. It also enables you to extend your data lake to edge locations and the cloud.  You may also download the new EMC Isilon OneFS 8.0 Simulator at no charge for non-production use so that you and your team can create a simulated environment and get a feel for the interface and administration tasks available in the latest Isilon software release.

Extend to the Edge
If your organization has a network of edge locations – including remote and branch offices – that produce and store data locally, your next destination on your data lake journey probably should be the edge.  Our research shows that for most organizations, data at edge locations is growing and they are often inefficient islands of storage, running with limited IT resources and inconsistent data protection practices. Data at the edge is also typically outside of the business data lake, making it difficult to incorporate into data analytics projects.

IsilonSD EdgeEMC IsilonSD Edge addresses these challenges with a Software-Defined Storage solution that combines the power of Isilon scale-out NAS with the economy of industry standard hardware in a VMware ESX environment. IsilonSD Edge simplifies management at the edge while providing up to 36 TB of storage capacity per installation. It also allows you to consolidate edge data to the core and thereby extend the data lake to the edge. It also increases data protection by automatically replicating data to the core.OneFS

IsilonSD Edge is now available in two versions—a ‘free and frictionless’ download for non-production, trial use, and a licensed version for production use which can be obtained through your EMC representative, authorized reseller or the EMC Store.

Integrate with the Cloud
Nearly all businesses today want to leverage the cloud to cut costs, simplify IT management, and gain virtually limitless storage capacity. But the question for many is how to integrate their on premise storage infrastructure with the cloud.  Isilon CloudPools software lets you address rapid data growth and optimize data center storage resources by using the cloud as a highly economical storage tier with massive storage capacity for cold or frozen data that is rarely used or accessed. It also allows you to select from a number of public cloud services or use a private cloud based on EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) or other EMC alternatives.CloudPools

Isilon CloudPools uses policy-based, automated tiering that enables you to seamlessly integrate with the cloud as an additional storage tier from the Isilon cluster at your core data center.  This enables more valuable on-premise storage resources to be used for more active data and applications. To secure data that is archived in the cloud, CloudPools encrypts data that is transmitted from the Isilon cluster at the core data center to the cloud storage service. This data remains encrypted in the cloud until it is retrieved and returned to the Isilon cluster at the data center.

We look forward to hearing about your own journey to the data lake!

Tiers without tears: Discover easier tiering with ECS

Bob Williamsen

Bob Williamsen

Sr. Business Development Manager at EMC

The new features in EMC’s Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) bring intelligent cloud tiering to your archive.

Let’s break that down – first, what do we mean by an “intelligent” archive? Obviously it makes sense to move older inactive data off your expensive primary storage to a lower-cost repository – and your archive solution takes care of this. With an intelligent archive solution, you can further reduce your archive costs by setting policies in your storage to automatically move inactive older data (say after 30, 60 or 90 days) to even cheaper cloud-based storage.

This is archive made easier, which is absolutely essential in the face of today’s data growth. It makes even more sense in today’s big data world, where you want your archived data to be readily available for analytics or eDiscovery.

The “cloud” part comes when organizations think of storage costs – cents per gigabyte per month. Cloud archive storage could be public cloud storage like Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, a private cloud hosted by a service provider – or your own on-premise cloud based on EMC ECS.

Why would you need an on-premise object storage solution like ECS over public cloud? One good reason is ownership. You own your cloud, you control it and can do whatever you wish with it. With a public cloud, the storage provider is ultimately in control of your data – and if you stop paying them, your data is gone.

Another reason is cost of monetizing data. Data is the raw material of 21st-century business. When it comes to performing data analytics on your archive, public cloud platforms would usually require you to move data out of cold archive first – incurring time and data retrieval costs.

With ECS as your cloud storage platform, you own your data – whether in your own data center or hosted by an enterprise service provider. You can manage and interact with all your cold archive data, in any file format, with multi-protocol support – including HDFS for in-place Hadoop analytics.

So, we’ve covered “intelligent” and “cloud” – what about the “tiering” part? Data can first be moved to a ‘warm’ archive tier of higher-performance disk, where it can still be accessed quickly to meet RPO and RTO SLA’s. As you retain archives for longer, older data can then be moved to a ‘cold’ archive tier with better economics. (This is similar to the tiered storage cost/performance model offered by Amazon S3 with its “warm” Standard tier, “cold” Infrequent Access tier and “frozen” Glacier tier.)

Consider a typical scenario with EMC Isilon as your primary storage. You can leverage the new CloudPools feature to add ‘pools’ of remote cloud storage to your Isilon namespace – perfect for archiving. And that cloud storage can now be ECS – for an easy tiered archive solution, optimized for cost, capacity and durability.Tiered archive to EMC ECS with EMC Isilon CloudPools

The biggest advantage to this tiered archive setup with ECS is automatic geo-distribution, to protect your data against entire site failures. Of course, ECS is vastly scalable from petabytes to exabytes, to future-proof your growing archive as you store more data for longer.

To ensure compatibility of ECS with your preferred archive solution – and make tiered archiving even easier. ECS tiered archive also works seamlessly with EMC Documentum, SourceOne and InfoArchive.

So, in summary, ECS now makes it easy and stress-free to create an intelligent tiered cloud archive – in other words, “tiers without tears”.

Explore the Top Reasons to Choose EMC ECS for Archive.

Learn more about ECS with a free download.

Breakfast with ECS: From Toasters to Tablets: The technology of IoT

Robert "Bobski" Masson

Robert "Bobski" Masson

Product Marketing Manager at EMC

Welcome to another edition of Breakfast with ECS, a series where we take a look at issues related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), EMC’s cloud-scale storage platform.

This “Internet of Things” idea reallyIOT from toasters to tablets isn’t that new.  In 1989, on a dare, a couple of young networking enthusiasts implemented an IoT.  By “IoT” we mean: “Internet” was a cable to a modem, and “Things” was a toaster that could be turned on or off. [1]

Since human-to-machine and machine-to-machine connections have been around, creative people have been attempting to exploit these connections.  The promise is huge – everything from convenience (I can control my lawn sprinklers from my cell phone) to gaining a competitive edge (I know more about my customers’ habits than you do) to saving lives (exploiting massive amounts of information to develop personal medical treatments).

What’s Different Today?

What’s happened since these enterprising scientists plugged a toaster into the Internet, and why is IoT such a big deal today? In short – the technology has caught up with the concept. The advances are in three critical areas that support IoT: sensors and devices, communications, and storage and analytics. Let’s take a look at each of these, and examine how advances have contributed to the practicality of IoT:

The Edge: Sensors and Devices. 

Sensors and devices that collect data (and sometimes analyze it on the spot) are ubiquitous today – and there certainly won’t be fewer of them tomorrow.

Internet of PeopleThe boom in data collection devices is led by the semiconductor industry – shrinking feature size and increasing part volumes have led to extremely inexpensive components. Nearly everything around us that we interact with can or will be Internet-connected, which leads us to…

Communications and Networking

Obviously, the Internet is pervasive today.  But it’s not just growth of the Internet that’s made IoT possible; it’s also the growth of other networking technologies.  For example, the Internet communications protocol IPv6 gives us 2128 (340*1036) unique connections—which should last for a while (that’s equivalent to the number of grains of sand on 480 quintillion Earths! [2]). There aren’t very many places left in the world that are not IoT-accessible, and data from those locations needs…

Storage, Applications, and Analytics

Data from the IoT is in a myriad of formats – such unstructured data needs a way of being managed, and that management method is object storage.  Object storage is an architecture that manages data as objects – each object includes the data itself, a variable amount of metadata, and a globally unique identifier – in short, it’s a perfect format for a large number of variable-sized, variable-content objects.

Key to the success of an IoT is creating business impact from all the collected and stored data. IoT applications analyze, report, and (in many cases) control connected devices, and must be scalable, flexible enough to comprehend all of the “Things” in the IoT, and agile enough to adjust to users’ requirements.

The EMC Data Lake allows analytics applications to access and manage content in place, without the need for expensive copy operations. Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) is compatible with industry-standard object APIs such as Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift, EMC Atmos® and EMC Centera® CAS.

ECS compatible with industry-standard object APIs Read the top reasons to choose EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) as your IoT cloud storage platform.


Technology has caught up with the concept of an IoT.  Sensors and devices that generate data, networking to connect it all together, and applications, storage and analytics form an infrastructure that makes implementing an IoT practical; in fact, implementing some form on an IoT is arguably a requirement for organizations to stay competitive in the coming years. EMC’s ECS products are the foundation of an IoT infrastructure that can help your organization take advantage of today’s explosion of data.

Try ECS today for free for non-production use by visiting


What’s on the horizon for EMC Emerging Tech in 2016?

Suresh Sathyamurthy

Suresh Sathyamurthy

Sr. Director, Product Marketing & Communications at EMC

ETD HorizonOrganizations today are facing enormous data challenges. IDC predicts that by 2020, over 7 billion people with 30 billion connected devices are predicted to generate over 42 zetabytes of information, of which 80% would be unstructured! IT infrastructure that supports effective ways to store, manage and protect data while optimizing IT resources and reducing costs is a paramount requirement.

Welcome to the second year of EMC Emerging Technologies blog! If you are looking to learn about and invest in agile, resilient and capex-friendly IT solutions, you have come to the right place. As we enter into 2016, I see five major trends expanding in the industry: Structured and Unstructured data growth, demand for data insights and analytics, adoption of cloud-enabled and converged infrastructure solutions, community-driven innovation and adoption of next generation rack-scale flash solutions that provide outstanding agility.

Emerging technologies division resolves enterprise customer pain points using Scale-out technology. We support scale-out architecture across the three data types, namely file, block and object storage through products like Isilon, ScaleIO and Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS). With these products, EMC provides enterprise-class storage solutions for a wide range of use cases.

Storing vast pools of data is one piece of the big data puzzle. This data is useful only if you can derive value and insights from it. Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) protocol enables high-performance data access across Hadoop clusters. HDFS protocol is essential to managing big data and supporting big data analytics. EMC Isilon and ECS have native integration of HDFS protocol that enables high performance in-place analytics and more.

2016 will also see adoption of new technology consumption choices. EMC is a leader in providing customers with multiple choices of consuming IT – including Appliances, Converged and Hyper-converged Systems, Software Defined Storage Solutions and Pay-as-you-go Cloud Model. Customers today want enterprise-grade agility, scale and cost savings offered by hybrid cloud solutions. Cloud-aware technologies at EMC enable organizations to reduce costs, embrace IoT, increase agility and scale tremendously. ECS is a software-defined, object-based cloud storage platform that provides global, petabyte-level scalability with compelling economics. ScaleIO creates software-defined scale-out block storage platform which can be architected using three different consumption models based upon cloud architecture goals – as software only; as a pre-configured server and software bundle; or as a fully engineered, hyper-converged system. EMC’s acquisition of Virtustream in July 2015 extended its ability to provide a scalable, highly-automated cloud solution with performance assurance. In November 2015, Isilon launched CloudPools that cloud-enables the data lake providing virtually limitless storage! Cloudpools allow you to seamlessly tier inactive data to public cloud options like Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Virtustream or to EMC options like ECS or Isilon deployed in service provider clouds. Last year at EMC World, we also shared a sneak peak of a product we internally call “Project Caspian” that will bring a hyper-converged platform for cloud native applications with various built-in and integrated services. This will enable you to “buy” native hybrid cloud vs. “build” it in 2016.

EMC has been one of the early adopters of community-driven innovation and open source. While open-source has benefits such as faster deployment, it also comes with its share of challenges like complexity of deployment and lack of enterprise readiness, service and supportability. In order to address these concerns, EMC Emerging Technologies announced Open 2.0 strategy last year. Through Open2.0, EMC provides the source code for certain products, CoprHD and RackHD for example, to the community and allows them to innovate.  EMC then brings back the community-driven innovation to enterprise-grade products with industry leading service and support. The benefits of community-driven innovation coupled with the enterprise-grade service and support overcome the challenges of adopting open source. In addition to Open 2.0 support, EMC is also proactively building capabilities within its products that facilitate easier adoption of open source technologies. Some examples of such integration are Openstack Swift in Isilon, Openstack Keystone in ECS and Cinder in ScaleIO. We also have a program called EMC Code that provides technical solution leadership. To learn more about EMC’s Open source efforts, please visit @EMCCode.

DSSDFinally, as data grows exponentially, there is increased demand for high performance all-flash solutions that accelerate data-intensive applications and infrastructures at lower costs. EMC Emerging Technologies will deliver next generation rack-scale flash storage through products like DSSD that provide petabyte-plus capacity and microsecond-class latency. The objective is to meet the high storage and performance needs for next generation applications, which include high performance databases and real-time analytics.

If you are looking to learn more about these technologies and connect with others interested in emerging technology trends, we invite you to join the EMC Emerging Technologies LinkedIn group. This group will host exciting content from some of EMC’s most promising products. Click here to learn more about EMC Emerging Technologies group on LinkedIn.

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting 2015 — Summary Report

Sanjay Joshi

Sanjay Joshi

CTO, Healthcare & Life-Sciences at EMC
Sanjay Joshi is the Isilon CTO of Healthcare and Life Sciences at the EMC Emerging Technologies Division. Based in Seattle, Sanjay's 28+ year career has spanned the entire gamut of life-sciences and healthcare from clinical and biotechnology research to healthcare informatics to medical devices. His current focus is a systems view of Healthcare, Genomics and Proteomics for infrastructures and informatics. Recent experience has included information and instrument systems in Electronic Medical Records; Proteomics and Flow Cytometry; FDA and HIPAA validations; Lab Information Management Systems (LIMS); Translational Genomics research and Imaging. Sanjay holds a patent in multi-dimensional flow cytometry analytics. He began his career developing and building X-Ray machines. Sanjay was the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant and has been a consultant or co-Principal-Investigator on several NIH grants. He is actively involved in non-profit biotech networking and educational organizations in the Seattle area and beyond. Sanjay holds a Master of Biomedical Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Sydney and a Bachelor of Instrumentation Technology from Bangalore University. He has completed several medical school and PhD level courses.

Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen, Professor of Physics in Worzburg, Bavaria discovered X-Rays in 1895 by observing and deducing an accidental exposure of energy from his early design cathode ray tube onto a photographic plate. The first X-Ray was of his wife’s hand, shown below. X-Rays are one of the earliest great discoveries of the post-Renaissance age, even before E=mc2. Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) has been the definitive gathering place for the future of Radiology and Healthcare technology for as long as I can remember. X-Rays and its cousin spectra drive most of the new innovations in instrumentation, process and informatics.

XrayThe Western Roentgen Society, a predecessor of the RSNA, was founded in 1915 in St. Louis, Missouri. RSNA celebrated its centennial last year in Chicago (the anchor city for the conference for a long time). An interactive timeline of RSNA and Radiology events can be seen here.

I broke my almost 18-year attendance hiatus after my RSNA Associate membership acceptance this year; I started my career building X-Ray machines many, many moons ago and have worked in most Radiology modalities.

Technology Highlights:

The scale of the conference was impressive, as has always been. The Technical and Exhibition Hall was massive at the McCormick Place Conference Center in Chicago. With about 670 exhibitors (105 new exhibitors) and the “who’s who” anchors like Bayer, Canon, CareStream, FUJIFILM, GE, Hitachi, Hologic, McKesson, Philips, Samsung, Shimadzu, Siemens, Terarecon and Toshiba this year’s technology innovation highlights were:

  • GE 1.5 Tesla and 3 Tesla MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) instrument with Total Digital Imaging (TDI) as well as CardioVascular Ultrasound systems with HDlive.
  • Siemens 3D Advanced Visualization software, Cloud-based imaging network and xSPECT (Single Proton Emission Computed Tomography) for bone scans along with the combination of MRI-PET and PET-CT modalities.
  • Virtual Reality (True3D), 3D printing, Human Connectome, Machine Learning and Deep Learning.
  • RSNA Image Share, a Provider and Patient service.
  • The maturing of Vendor Neutral Archives (VNA).

Plenary sessions:

On Monday November 30th, the “New Horizons Lecture: Redefining Innovation” was delivered by Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE. Mr. Immelt made the point that GE was both in the instrumentation innovator (US$20B) and payor (US$2.5B) revenue streams in healthcare. He emphasized that improving the ecosystem (consumerism + access, chronic disease outcomes, lower cost and behavior changes) as well as sustaining innovation (neural MRI, decision support, image guided interventions, automated image analysis and productivity) were its guiding principles. Precision Medicine, integration of Radiology with Pathology, cell therapy using Bioprocessing, mobile technologies at global scale and analytics were the central innovation themes for GE.

On Tuesday, December 1st, Dr. James H. Thrall, Chairman Emeritus, Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, delivered the “Annual Oration in Diagnostic Radiology: Trends and Developments Shaping the Future of Radiology”. He outlined three themes: imaging technologies, infrastructure and information/communications systems, and the application of the imaging correlates of precision medicine. Dr. Thrall presented a Venn diagram of all imaging modalities. The various inter-modal intersection sets were highlighted with specific mention of PET-CT-MRI and the work of Dr. Ge Wang and Omni-Tomography was highlighted as shown in the figure below:

Omni Tomography

Of particular note to me was the official entry of “Precision Medicine” into the RSNA lexicon. This is the first year I have heard of the term “RadioGenomics” and “RadiOmics” in a major conference (first mentioned by Andreassen et al in 2002). Dr. Thrall made it a point to mention shorter acquisition times and lower radiation dosage to the patient.

Dr. Ronald Arenson, RSNA President, introduced both plenary speakers.

Academic Sessions:

My focus for the 2015 Academic sessions was Informatics. Here are the condensed highlights:

Dr. Charles Kahn (U Penn) and Dr. Bradley Erickson (Mayo) led the inaugural “Year in Review” for Imaging Informatics. This session was jointly sponsored by RSNA, AMIA (American Medical Informatics Association) and SIIM (Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine). The format was a dense, rapid-fire summary of key topics for 2015 as well as the seminal journal articles on various topics, which were the foci of other informatics sessions:

“The Text Information Extraction for Radiology Reporting” session presented techniques using NLP, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. A majority of radiologists would like to see structured reporting. The tools mentioned were OpenNLP, Mallet, cTAKES, eHOST, VINCI ChartReview and NCBO Annotator.

One of the more useful “hands-on” sessions that I attended was “Radio-Genomic Research: Accessing Clinical Imaging-Genomics-Pathology Data from Public Archives-The Cancer Imaging Archive” led by Dr. C. Carl Jaffe and Dr. Fred W. Prior. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data portal is well known in the Genomics. The NIH has now created The Cancer Image Archive (TCIA) which has specific deidentified images for integrating Radiology with Genomics.

There was an entire morning session devoted to “Digital Information Security and Medical Imaging Equipment” which covered the instrumentation layers, protocols and regulations in some detail. It is interesting to note that Radiology Imaging client applications are still using OSx as the primary platform, with some “hands-on” sessions for DICOM not using other OSes at all. It is time for a web service based imaging application to come to the fore.

I strongly believe that integrating (and interoperating with) Radiology and Pathology phenotypic moieties into Genomics knowledge will be the real catalyst for the adoption of Genomics as an early clinical test (which is getting more complex by the month). Oh, and let’s not forget Proteomics. If multi-modal Radiology becomes reality soon (especially PET-CT-MRI), using biomarker-guided imaging, the data generated and the analytics required both grow exponentially. We are getting to that unified “Healthcare Data Lake” as shown below:

EMC Healthcare

RSNA is now one of the top two academic conferences in the United States (and maybe worldwide) with a 2014 attendance of about 57,000. The 2015 attendance dropped, with registered attendants numbering about 48,000 (as of this writing). Here is hoping for more radiologists, technologists, innovators and patient advocates for this year’s RSNA!

Stay warm and healthy!

 Author’s notes: The opinions expressed herein are my own and not necessarily those of EMC. Hyperlinks are embedded within specific words or phrases. Please contact me if you need details on any of the above topics.


A new application model requires a new toolbox

Mark O'Connell

Mark O'Connell

EMC Distinguished Engineer & Data Services Architect

The rise of the internet and the Toolboxprevalence of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, have driven a revolution in application design towards what is commonly known as a Platform 3 application.  Platform 3 applications are characterized by a scope of use that spans potentially millions of users, a breadth of access that includes worldwide access 24 hours a day, a volume and variety of data storage and access needs that includes both traditional applications as well as big data analytic platforms, and need to share data sets across multiple instances of a single application as well as across multiple independent applications. As businesses increasingly move towards such platform 3 applications, they can take advantage of a number of tools available in the industry to help them create and deploy their applications. However, it is not sufficient to have a great set of tools in your box; knowing how to use them effectively is just as important. Continue reading