EMC, Dell Try to Make Up, but Is a Lasting Relationship Possible?

Storage computer maker EMC (NYSE: EMC  ) and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) are attempting to patch up ties after Dell's bid for 3PAR (NYSE: PAR  ) soured their alliance.

In a conference call with analysts discussing its third-quarter results, EMC CEO Joe Tucci broke silence over the issue, according to ABC. "As far as the Dell relationship, obviously, we took a setback as Dell went after 3Par, and obviously cooled things off. We are, again, in discussions to see if we could do something more meaningful and lasting," he said.http:/img.ibtimes.com/www/site/us/images/1px.gif

According to NYT, Dell spokesman David Frink said, "EMC is a strategic partner and plays an important role in our storage portfolio." Reuters reported that Dell has started selling two new EMC products as well.

The long-standing relationship turned acrimonious when Dell bid for 3PAR in August -- which was ultimately lapped up by HP for $2.35 billion -- as 3PAR was a direct competitor to EMC's line of mid-sized storage solution CLARiiONs, which Dell sells on behalf of EMC.

Dell also sells other EMC products like the Celerra unified platform, DataDomain and Avamar for backup, enterprise-class object storage solutions Centera and Atmos and Symmetrix VMAX.

Dell's move in the direction of acquiring 3PAR was more an effort to match with HP's offerings Chuck Hollis, VP-Global Marketing CTO, EMC, had cited in his blog during Dell's bid for 3PAR acquisition.

Dell has been attempting to move into the services segment and has been on a buying spree having bought iSCSI storage provider EqualLogic, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) email compliance and archiving vendor MessageOne, storage consultancy the Networked Storage Company, and IT services provider Perot Systems.

Dell has a reputation of being a low-end enterprise storage provider courtesy EMC, but with its growing ambition to become a service provider it was slowly encroaching on EMC's domain, which was emphasized by its bid for 3PAR, which would have given it a foothold in the midrange storage space. If the purchase had materialized, it would have pitched Dell against EMC.

Also Dell bought Exanet's clustered filer technology and there are reports by NYPost that suggest that EMC has bid $2 billion for Isilon, a clustered filer technology provider. Thus Isilon buy will allow EMC to compete in the clustering technology domain where Dell has already moved. A report by Boston Globe said that EMC could face competition from Dell in its attempt to acquire Isilon.

As the industry is in a consolidation mode with major players vying to build a stack, EMC's and Dell's ambitions are due to collide. EMC is itself on a buying spree having bought privately-held data warehousing firm Greeplum, which has given it entry in "big data" segment to play with the likes of Oracle and IBM. Also there are reports that its server virtualization hand VMware is in talks to acquire Novell, which adds to its software stack and allows it to move to the cloud.

With both Dell and EMC attempting to build a stack of software and hardware one wonders if lasting peace between the two is possible.

International Business Times, The Global Business News Leader

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