If EMC’s CEO Joe Tucci aimed to put its partners' collective mind at rest over the fate of Documentum, then Jeremy Burton, the company’s CMO, was there to outline where EMC is going with the cloud and Big Data.

EMC’s Cloud Strategy

It’s not that EMC has ever been a slouch when it came to the cloud and cloud computing; it’s just that, with so many companies and so many products coming onto the market, it is now essential that vendors like EMC stand up and explain what it is they intend to do.

We’re not here to say ‘get going,’ we’re here to say ‘if you haven’t got going, you’re being left behind,’ and to get the right supports in place for partners as they get going,” he said.

But it was where EMC sees the cloud going that is particularly interesting as this is what will drive its strategy in the coming 12 months, if not years.

First, and as a general oversight of the cloud market, Burton predicted that, one day, every organization will have its own private cloud. There is, however, a lot of contemporary evidence to suggest that, if that day ever comes, it will be a long way off.

EMC, the Cloud and Security

Could it be that Burton here is just playing the role of starry-eyed optimist? We think not. He also said in his keynote that “Without trust in the cloud, there is no cloud." And he did so in introducing RSA and its role in providing security to cloud deployments. And trust is the principal barrier to deployment.

Following on from the theme of everyone having a cloud, he added:

We think there will be 100,000 private clouds environments. Every organization will turn their infrastructure into one of these private cloud environments because it's more efficient. There will also be thousands of public clouds,” he said.

And in this he addressed an issue that we have discussed many times in the past and have concluded much the same as Burton has: That the most likely enterprise scenario in the future will be one of hybrid environments of public and private clouds, as well as hybrid cloud and on-premises deployments.

We think that will end up being the most pervasive model for computing,” he said. “You will see application workloads [moving from] private clouds one day, public the next...and then move back.”

The problem here is with the kind and amount of data that is and will be shifted between the different environments, and the risk that all that movement poses.

One of the solutions, he said, is the ability to offer a company better ways of seeing -- or analyzing -- those attacks.

This really is a huge big data problem. There are organizations that collect up to 60 terabytes of data purely around the information flow within their systems...So, as you can imagine, you can get up to petabytes [of data] on the security systems very quickly, but this is the only way you’re going to be able to detect these slow and low attacks that take place over days, weeks and months...We think that big data analytics are going to change the world of security forever,” Burton says.

Big Data Management

One other final issue that he dealt with was Big Data. Current infrastructure just can’t deal with it, he said; it can’t scale. The real value is in the analytics, he says. "There’s a new model for data scientists to come up with the right dataset that the business can analyze...and the great news is that none of this has been built,” he says, meaning it's still a greenfield opportunity for EMC channel partners,

However, many enterprises still haven’t got their head around Big Data and are still at a place they were three years ago with the cloud. It will take a few years, but enterprises are going to have to get on board. More on this over the week.