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EMC's Blockbuster

6:00 PM -- It doesn't get much bigger than this. EMC's stunning announcement that it will buy RSA for $2.1 billion comes at a crucial juncture for everyone involved. (See EMC Secures RSA for $2.1B and EMC Buys RSA.)

First, it's the boldest move yet in EMC's effort to reinvent itself as a broad-based player in IT, instead of a storage company. Second, it's a daring bid by RSA to make storage and virtualization the focal points for secure access management in the coming years.

End users now face a formidable set of choices. Despite EMC's ambitious intentions, it still makes most of its impact in storage. And a deal like this makes it clear the future of a company's data lies as much in IT's choice of SANs and NAS as in servers and network applications.

The implications of today's acquisition will be far-reaching -- and plenty of perils and pitfalls loom. But as Joe Tucci said in a prepared statement today: "Businesses can't secure what they don't manage." Clearly, EMC wants to manage your data, not just store it. Given today's events, it will be interesting -- no, fascinating -- to see how much farther EMC will go to make it happen.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch