For a massive IT company, Dell sure doesn’t get the kind of respect given their competitors. Time and again, I’ll hear the sneers about Dell being little more than a â€œbox shifterâ€ who doesn’t â€œgetâ€ real enterprise IT needs. After a series of acquisitions in storage and networking, Dell is trying to stake a claim as a serious competitor to HP, IBM, Oracle, and the like. But why should anyone take Dell seriously, especially in enterprise storage?
One of the amusing aspects of being self-employed is watching all the giants battle it out. Every company is gunning for someone, but the amazing thing is that they rarely have each other in their sights: NetApp is gunning for EMC who’s more focused on HP who wants to knock off Oracle who’s fixated on IBM. It sounds very “high school romance” but this is deadly-serious business.
The news came out this morning that Dell is in exclusive talks to acquire network storage specialist Compellent for just under $900 million. I will leave it to the real reporters to track the ups and downs of the story; what piques my interest is the value Dell gets from Compellent’s technology and the challenge it poses to the data storage industry.
This roundtable discussion focusing on storage maker Compellent is taken from Tech Field Day Seattle, held in July of 2010. One of the most-interesting points raised concerns the recent technological advances made by the major vendors. Another key issue in the conversation is W. Curtis Preston’s discussion of snapshots and data protection. Can traditional backup be made obsolete by storage system snapshots?
Today is the (a?) day of reckoning in the 3Par saga, with Dell widely expected to make a counter-offer higher than HP’s bid. But this mega deal, like the Data Domain war before it, sends a strong signal to the enterprise IT world: It’s open season on data storage companies! But the rising superpowers are also likely looking at networking as an area of expansion. The game is afoot!
The storage industry got a lot more competitive this morning, as Dell announced plans to buy 3Par. This is the latest round in a well-established race for the enterprise storage dollar, challenging superpower (and Dell partner) EMC in the high-end SAN space. What does this acquisition say about the industry as a whole? Where are we headed?
Presentation #3 was by F5 networks at the F5 Technology Center. Compellent presented to the Tech Field Day delegation about their automated storage solution which they call â€œFluid Dataâ€. View Compellentâ€™s introductory video. The final Tech Field Day presentation was from NEC, on their HYDRAstor storage array.
The Seattle Tech Field Day was actually 2 days. Across those 2 days, the TFD delegates watched 5 presentations from 5 different vendors, plus had a mixer-style dinner with all the vendors. Most of these presentations were storage and virtualization related. Only one vendor, F5 Networks, would be considered to be a networking company, and even their presentation showed some of their fancy new integration with VMware.
Itâ€™s now been a couple of days since the second day of the Gestalt IT Tech Field Day, Iâ€™m actually taking the opportunity to write this on the plane on the way back from Seattle. So once again I thought I would do a summary post until I get the chance to write up a detailed post on each vendor.
As Compellent, a sponsor for Gestalt IT’s Tech Field Day Seattle, interviewed me for a post on their blog, I thought it would be fun to turn the tables and interview them right back! You will notice some similarity in the questions and answers – this was entirely coincidental, since we did not see each other’s answers prior to submitting them! Following are three questions answered by Compellent Director of Corporate Communications, Liem Nguyen. Read my answers over at Compellent’s Around the Block blog!