EMC dreams of a virtual world

"Although EMC, VMWare and Cisco have given us some significant improvements in the functionality of the virtual world, they cannot fix the creaking, legacy platforms we all depend on for most of our critical services."

Looking to cloud computing

So will the cloud suffer the same fate, or will Tucci and EMC have part of its dream come true?

One major barrier blocking the move towards cloud storage is security. Even senior executives at the conference admitted there will always be a lack of trust in moving all your critical data away from your own basement.

An example of this is businesses that hold sensitive data, especially the public sector, which keeps patients medical records and personal details. When information is stored in your own basement, on your own hardware and you know the technician taking care of it, you have a sense of security that passing it out into the cloud lacks.

EMC has brought the idea of an internal cloud to the table to combat this, allowing a company to store its general data externally but earmark the sensitive things to stay within the company's own data centre environment. There seems to be a hope that this could be used as a stepping stone to gain people's trust in the cloud's safety so eventually those with internal clouds will convert completely.

But as well as security there is an accountability issue. If a bank for example lost all the bank details within its own data centre, the boss would know where the problem was, when it could be fixed and who to point the finger of blame at. It would essentially be under his or her control and the person responsible could and would be reprimanded.

If the data is off on a cloud somewhere, you cannot personally know who did what if it went wrong and as a company, especially if you had to explain to your customers where their bank details went, you could not be seen to hold somebody accountable.

Now as reassuring as EMC can be to people that it is incredibly unlikely all your data would be lost and that they would happily double or triplicate if needs be, that underlying doubt is always going to be there. Some people just need to see their hardware in front of them, have a hands on approach and take responsibility for their own data centre.

So, more and more virtualisation appears to be on the cards - as does cloud computing - and it seems very likely both will continue to grow. But a fully virtualised world? For now at least, we will have to put EMC back to bed and tell them it was all just a dream.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.