Dell discontinues EMC partnership


by CBR Staff Writer| 18 October 2011

To continue supporting existing customers for around five years, and then launch its own storage products after that

PC maker Dell has officially discontinued selling Dell-branded EMC storage products, ending the 10-year partnership between the companies that was to run until 2013.

Among the EMC storage products that Dell sells are: EMC OEM and resold EMC storage products, including CLARiiON, Celerra, Data Domain and VNX.

However, Dell has said that it will support existing customers with the products for as long EMC sells them, which may be till 2016. Dell intends to provide products from its own storage portfolio after that.

EMC A/NZ sales director Brett Harris said, "At the end of the day most customers consciously made the decision to acquire EMC technology when they purchased it from Dell, so it's EMC's responsibility to make sure they're supported."

He continued, "They chose EMC technology and we want to make sure we honour that investment."

Now Dell and EMC are officially competitors.

Recently, EMC had announced the discontinuation of its CLARiiON and Celerra storage products. It had favoured new VNX machines and new storage lines from Data Domain and Isilon, companies it acquired in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Dell has spent more than $2bn to acquire several companies to bolster its storage portfolio. It bought EqualLogic in 2007, Exanet, and Compellent in 2010. The company has made its own DX6000 object storage hardware, with Caringo as the software partner.

Harris said EMC was prepared for the partnership to end.

"It's old news to us," he told CRN.

"Dell had made a business decision to bring on board via acquisition companies that compete with EMC."

"In the past when Dell was a partner of EMC, our other partners saw Dell as a partner who would compete with them on EMC business," he said. "So what this presents is a bigger opportunity with our existing partners," said Harris.

Harris has also confirmed that EMC does not intend to replace Dell with another partner.
Dell Storage vice-president and general manager Darren Thomas said that the company is banking on its storage intellectual property and acquisitions to grow.

"We are 100 percent committed to providing quality service and support to our existing Dell/EMC customers, but the future is Dell storage intellectual property and the robust, end-to-end Fluid Data architecture we are delivering." Thomas told eWEEK.

"Dell is making serious investments in both acquisition and internal development to assemble a competitive storage portfolio that provides customers with superior technology, such as automated tiering, virtualisation and content aware deduplication and compression," Thomas said.

"Our customers are seeing the benefits of Dell's storage portfolio and the context within a broader data centre strategy as compared to storage products built around costly and old architectures."

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