News Stay informed about the latest enterprise technology news and product updates.

Dell-EqualLogic-EMC: three’s a crowd

For years, Dell has made noise about pushing deeper into storage outside of its partnership with EMC – all the while maintaining that partnership.

Until now, that strategy consisted of baby steps with its PowerVault SMB storage platform. But today, Dell took a $1.4 billion leap into storage with its acquisition of EqualLogic.

The deal tells us Dell is clearly interested in becoming a bona fide storage vendor, and it took the best route possible to making that happen. It also tells us it is a matter of time until its partnership with EMC falls apart, despite an agreement that runs through 2011.

Nobody from Dell or EMC will say that. Their party line is the EqualLogic products fall into Dell’s SMB  PowerVault platform, and Dell and EMC will continue to co-market mid-range Clariion systems.

That argument doesn’t hold up for several reasons. First, EqualLogic’s higher end systems are not SMB plays. The PS3000 it launched a year ago has a starting list price of $65,000 – more than twice that of most PowerVault products. EqualLogic has always considered midrange storage titans EMC, Hewlett-Packard and Network Appliance its main competition. And EMC people privately consider EqualLogic a genuine midrange competitor. EqualLogic can help Dell sell to SMBs, but it has also been adding features such as thin provisioning and virtualization capabilities to make its SANs more enterprise friendly. Is Dell going to scrap those technologies? That’s unlikely.

Then there is the iSCSI factor. By buying EqualLogic, Dell is betting most of its storage chips on Ethernet-based iSCSI. That’s no surprise. Dell’s business is built on Ethernet. But EMC’s is built on Fibre Channel. While Fibre Channel vendors have come to sell iSCSI and accept that it has benefits, they’re not betting their business on it. The major Fibre Channel vendors have even created a new protocol — Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) — aimed at stunting iSCSI’s adoption. Down the road, the paths of Dell and EMC will diverge over iSCSI and Fibre Channel.

Finally, there is the personal relationship factor. The EMC-Dell partnership benefitted from a close relationship between their respective CEOs, Joe Tucci and Kevin Rollins. Tucci even showed up unannounced at a Dell Technology Day last year to show support when angry investors were calling for Rollins’ head. Now Rollins is gone, and founder Michael Dell is back at the helm. Nobody’s saying Tucci and Dell don’t get along, but it’s not the same as Tucci and Rollins. And there’s no guarantee that EMC fits in Dell’s plans to turn around his company.

The EMC-Dell marriage made great sense when it began in 2001. Both companies were staunch competitors with Hewlett-Packard and IBM, who sold servers and storage. So instead of EMC making its own servers and Dell manufacturing storage, they partnered. And the relationship worked out until now — Dell is responsible for about 16 percent of EMC’s storage systems revenue and around one-third of its Clariion sales. But the landscape has changed, accelerated by Dell’s purchase of EqualLogic. The main question is: how long it will take for divorce papers to be filed.

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Does Remote PC have enough features to be useful in XenDesktop 5.6?
in the scenerio where this would be useful for us, Yes, it has enough features. We don't have any MACs, nor would we want file sharing.
With diminshing numbers of desktops, I'd have thought that Remote PC would have included a true remote experience for those use cases where it makes sense. Remote power management would have been a BASIC and EXPECTED feature inclusion. It also cannot help with our Mac graphic workstations - HDX would have been great to use for designers who were wanting to work remotely.
superb sim´ple relaible.
MAC Support lacking
we dislike crippled software
It does just what we need.
1. you don't need platinum licensing to use this feature.
2. mac's in the enterprise barely exist, and when they do they're not left running on desks. I'd like to see this feature but it's hardly relevent for most org's.
3. File transfer support? it's there, you can see local drives, no there isn't a button like there is with GotoMeeting, not sure if that's an issue with users or not...could be if they are used to other products that use that method.
4. Linux support? you're f*cking kidding me right? even more obscure than mac in the enterprise is linux realistic with your complaints.

what you did miss is that GPU offload (HDX 3D Pro) is a separate don't get all the benefits of RemotePC and HDX 3D Pro at the same or the other. which means if you want gpu offload you're stuck with the same problems we've had for years, resolution issues, blanking issues, etc.