Dell and EMC extend storage partnership

Dell Inc. and EMC Corp. announced today that they are continuing their alliance through 2013, with Dell selling EMC’s storage solutions, including the new Celerra NX4, even in the face of Dell’s EqualLogic acquisition.

EMC and Dell have sold 60,000 units jointly, according to Dell global director of storage and networking Praveen Asthana.

Oracle Optimized Warehouse interoperability, the Dell AX4-5 mid-range array, and new research in data de-duplication are some of the other new joint projects that Dell and EMC will be concentrating on in the short term.

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“For EMC, this is a little bit of a resurgence,” according to senior research analyst John Sloan of the Info-Tech Research Group.

Sloan said that many people had been watching and waiting to see what Dell’s next move would be ever since the company bought EqualLogic earlier this year.

Despite the pair’s long-running partnership of seven years, some industry vets were wondering if Dell would become more committed to its EqualLogic products, leaving EMC in the cold.

After all, said IDC Canada director of infrastructure hardware Jason Bremner, Dell’s reselling EMC products account for 15 per cent of EMC’s revenue worldwide. He said, “For EMC, it’s a great sales engine, since it affords them SMB access that can’t usually go into.”

“A lot of EMC storage sales to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are through Dell,” agreed Sloan. “So there’s definitely some competition there.”

Dell’s selling the NX4 is significant, Sloan said: “One thing about EqualLogic is that it is clustered a lot of functionality inside, like a management suite, snapshot management, and thin provisioning. The EMC Celerra has now bundled a lot of those features so that they can sell those to SMBs, too.”

Indeed, Asthana pointed out that Celera will be easy to manage. He said, “It’s extremely easy to set up, and there’s a very high availability. Even if you don’t have a lot of IT skills, it’s easy.”

The partnership also yields results for IT managers on a tight budget. Said Asthana: “It lowers acquisition costs (when everything is packaged together), and time is saved because everything works together from this partnership.”

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