If there was any thought that storage giant EMC might spin out its virtualisation specialist and subsidiary VMware, which has established itself as the clear market leader, EMC's CEO Joe Tucci put that idea to rest at the Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium held last week in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tucci, sitting in an oversized armchair, fielded questions from Goldman Sachs analyst Laura Conigliaro as about 500 investors looked on. The president and CEO of EMC brushed off analyst suggestions that the storage powerhouse might divest itself of the x86 server virtualisation company.

“VMware is a tremendous asset and to separate it from EMC would be a huge mistake,” he said. “It’s not going to happen.”

Tucci called server virtualisation a “game changing” technology in data centres and said EMC is in a good position as VMware competitors such as XenSource and Microsoft emerge and the virtualisation of x86 systems proliferates.

“We have a tremendous lead,” he says, adding that EMC plans to continue operating VMware “at arm’s length” to enable third parties such as HP and IBM to make use of the technology.

When Conigliaro asked Tucci to grade EMC’s handful of investments over the last few years, he gave them all – Documentum, Captiva, Legato, et al – glowing reviews, but added, “I wish I could buy 10 VMwares.” Going forward, though, Tucci said EMC will expand through partnerships, rather than through large acquisitions.