The marriage between PC leader Dell Computer and high-end storage leader EMC Corp. will bear fruit next week when Dell shows how it's integrating its PowerVault network-attached storage systems and EMC's Clariion storage-area network systems, which Dell resells. For customers, this means they can use a single management console to manage personal productivity files and blocks of data typically used for databases. EMC has never provided such integration with someone else's storage system. EMC has its own network-attached storage devices that may end up competing with Dell's PowerVault NAS.
Clariion has been helping Dell win storage contracts. EMC's sales are down 40% in the past year, but Dell's storage business has grown by 29%, says Russ Holt, executive VP of Dell's enterprise business. Half of that business involved the Dell/EMC SAN systems, and Holt says there are enough orders in the pipeline to post a 65% increase by year's end.
As for future storage plans, Holt says Dell also will build its own Windows-specific storage systems by year's end. And Dell and EMC are talking about Dell manufacturing some of the low-end Clariion systems. Already, EMC is getting volume discounts for Clariion components through Dell distribution channels. "Dell could take Clariion and take 5% or 6% out of the cost," says Steve Duplessie, an industry analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. "It wouldn't surprise me to see Dell manufacturing Clariion within the year."