Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) announced its plans for data de-duplication today and EMC (NYSE: EMC) plays a big role in those plans.
Dell's aggressive move into storage, with the acquisition of EqualLogic at its center, has cost EMC sales and raised questions about the future of the companies' longstanding partnership, even as officials of both companies say the relationship remains strong.
But today's announcement that Dell is working with EMC and Quantum (NYSE: QTM) on dedupe suggests that the Dell-EMC relationship remains very much a part of Dell's plans.
EMC and Quantum are already working together on dedupe, and Dell said it partnered with the two so it can offer a common architecture across its PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC product lines.
"As evidenced by this announcement and the recent co-launch of the Dell/EMC CX4, Dell is fully committed to the EMC relationship, and the two companies continue to work together to bring to market storage technologies that address customer needs," said Brett Roscoe, senior manager of Dell Storage. "Furthermore, it is likely that you will see new product categories addressed through our partnership in the future."
The partnership is also a win for Quantum, said Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse. "This is a big boost for Quantum," said Whitehouse. "They've got a lot of flexibility with their software NAS or VTL presentations, policy-based de-duplication and integrated tape creation."
For Dell, the tough part will be selling its dedupe offerings to customers, said Whitehouse.
"Just because they are selling de-dupe doesn't mean that customers will buy it from Dell," she said. "There's a lot of established competition out there, including from their partners, EMC and Quantum."
Indeed, dedupe has been just about the hottest storage technology in the last year or two, and vendors have been quick to join the trend and offer their customers capacity-savings technologies (see Storage Technology for Tough Times). Just last week, NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) complemented its primary storage de-duplication by offering the technology in its VTLs too.
Dell currently sells Quantum offerings through its Software and Peripherals group. As part of today's announcement, the company will begin to integrate Quantum products into PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC offerings. Future products will be Dell branded and available through all Dell sales channels. Customers can expect "a range of new de-duplication solutions and services" early next year, the company said.
Dell said it will also continue to offer CommVault (NASDAQ: CVLT) Simpana and Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) Backup Exec software (see Dell's Disk Backup Appliance Bypasses Tape).