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Dell, EMC Divorce After 10-Year Reseller Relations 51

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-has-to-take-the-kids dept.
Lucas123 writes "An extremely profitable relationship between Dell and EMC has come to an end after 10 years. Over the past five years, as Dell has continued to sell more of its own storage products — going further and further upstream in the market — while EMC has continued to sell more products aimed at lower-end customers. As a result, competition between the two vendors has grown. But, the partnership resulted in big revenue for both companies, with Dell reporting as much as 50% of its storage revenue from EMC rebranded products in some years. 'If anything, Dell is making much more money on the bottom line now. So as far as divorces go, this was a pretty easy one,' said industry analyst Steve Duplessie."
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Dell, EMC Divorce After 10-Year Reseller Relations

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  • by msobkow (48369) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @01:29AM (#37747394) Homepage Journal

    Look at that. A successful and profitable cooperative venture coming to an end, and not a lawsuit in sight.

    Now if the rest of the business community could only learn from this and stop with the patent lawsuits and market trolling, and get back to selling great competitive products.

    • by redmid17 (1217076)

      Look at that. A successful and profitable cooperative venture coming to an end, and not a lawsuit in sight.

      Now if the rest of the business community could only learn from this and stop with the patent lawsuits and market trolling, and get back to selling great competitive products.

      If you continue this line of thinking, you're just asking to be sued

    • Actually, this happens all the time. I don't know how this made it past the media filters. "Businesses end relationship" is not news. I suppose this is a vestige of Slashdot being an industry news site, instead of the political point of view site it seems to have become.
      • Makes for a nice change of pace in between all the companies slapping each other with lawsuits though.
      • by rubycodez (864176)
        this would be that same filter that catches dupes, misleading sensationalist summaries, bad grammar, and miraculous thermodynamic-defying new inventions by money-seeking startups? the one written by a herd of unicorns and pink ponies that piss rainbows and shit Skittles?
        • Skittles are disgusting. Just give me regular shit, please.

          • by rubycodez (864176)
            oh, you want normal ponies and single-horned goats as filter writers then. Studies have shown their coding skills are quite marginal, mainly relying on coding generating wizards with J2EE and .NET, rather than the slick meta-programming with erlang of the skittle-poopers.
    • When it's finished, EMC will be suing Dell over technology in the Equallogic series of storage devices.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @08:32AM (#37749084)

      Most of them do. It is boring and doesn't make the news.
      We think the world is going down in a ball of flame because how horrible everything seems. But in reality news doesn't cover the good news, it is boring. They cover the exciting bad new where there is conflict and risk.
      The news about a law that passes with bipartisan support gets a paragraph on NPR with a senator doing a quick 10 second speech saying, this should show that we can work together on a common goal....

      But news about laws that are in gridlock going down the line where it is split and both sides need to stand up to each other... Now that is news.

  • Old news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zyzko (6739) <kari.asikainen@gmai l . com> on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @05:04AM (#37748004)

    This was announced to Dell/EMC customers...what, about a year ago if I remember correctly?

    Dell has been pushing their (acquired through company merger) Equallogic series of storage servers for long and nobody saw this as an suprise. But I guess the good relations must go on because EMC has VMware and Dell does not definitely want to be known as diy vendor when it comes to VMware.

    • EMC doesn't need Dell as much as the reverse; but Dell's generally-aggressive-prices-if-not-exactly-the-IBM-of-yore-reliability-for-near-whitebox-implementations-of-intel-or-AMD-servers business model does go rather well with Vmware deployments.

      Since you can migrate VMs in a few hundred milliseconds, the ability to get lots of OK server generally beats the ability to get less ironclad server if you are going to be VM hosting.
      • by afidel (530433)
        Dude, even over 10Gb there's no way you can vmotion a VM in a few hundred milliseconds! 4GB/.8GB/s=5 seconds, nevermind bigger VM's and gigabit which is much more the norm. Also while VMWare HA is nice for minimizing downtime it doesn't negate the need for each node to be reliable as the large scale reboot storm after a host crashes can be quite a stressful event on the environment, storage in particular.
        • Yes but what crashes? I've been running ESX on Dell's hardware for four years now. The only crashes we ever had were shortly after we started when there were some Broadcom driver bugs which caused ESX to pink screen. We're not a huge shop but over a dozen ESX servers without a crash in three + years isn't going to make this an issue for us.

          • by afidel (530433)
            You'll get PSOD's, heck just recently there was one caused by upgrading your vcenter server to version 5 while you still had 4.0 U2 hosts. Given the various problems with 4.1 there are quite a few people who might be upgrading directly (we will be) and so run into that bug (we upgraded to 4.0 U3 to avoid it, but only because I saw a blog post and so was forewarned). Also my main point was that you don't want a flaky whitebox or otherwise unreliable host so VMWare or any other hypervisor is not a magic bulle
        • "large scale reboot storm after a host crashes "

          Friends don't let friends use Windows hosts.

          • I believe this was not referencing the host OS (As in any sane environment, they would be using Vsphere/ESX/ESXi. However, when a host fails, the guests then reboot when they have been assigned new hosts. If you are using large servers that handle 60+ guests, and lose a host, those 60+ guests now have to reread their disks, potentially get DHCP addresses, and pull up network shares, etc.

            • by afidel (530433)
              Exactly, when you lose a host through a hardware or software fault all the VM's that were running on it have to be restarted on other hosts in the cluster. Also to anyone with a brain the fact that I mention vmotion and VMWare HA would mean I'm obviously not running a Windows host =)
              • VMware vSphere also has vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT) which is designed to handle an ESXi host hardware failure. Conceptually, it keeps a synched copy of the VMs memory (Windows or Linux) on a second host ready to switch it over if host #1 fails. http://www.vmware.com/products/fault-tolerance/overview.html [vmware.com]

                High Availability (HA) will simply restart your VMs (whether Linux or Windows) on another ESXi host. They are two different things and FT costs more.
                • by afidel (530433)
                  FT is so limiting as to be useless in all but a handful of situations. I was hoping many of the restrictions would be lifted with vsphere 5 but that did not happen so it's pretty obvious to me that SMP synchronization with the method they are using is a tough nut to crack.
      • Agreed.

        What I've found is that sometimes when people are buying their first SANs and work directly with the manufacturer's sales people they tend to get under-sized SANs. The sales guys goal, make no mistake about it, is to move product and there is a lot of competition from various manufacturers.

        We've had to help replace or upgrade SANs for folks who bought one for their 50+ servers including really heavily hit databases that run on 7.2K RPM drives because the sales guy sold them on cache when quotin
        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          Maybe it depends on the salesperson. Our Dell guy sold us a pretty decent Equalogics setup, but it may be because we are all highly technical and know what we need too.

          • Absolutely, as with everything there are good and bad. Where I've seen what I was talking about is when you have a purchaser who is not highly technical and or more concerned about cost than anything else. I think Dell and EMC do a better job than some of the others I've seen. Hopefully this has gotten better in the last few years as these products are used more widely. But, seriously, I've seen at least two storage vendors sell people SANs that were massively under-specced for the job at hand and the buyer
    • by RITjobbie (211397)

      Don't forget about Compellant. That was another great acquisition, IMO a best in class SAN product line.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't think the "divorce" has anything at all to do with Equallogic, as Equallogic is not really an EMC competitor. The divorce has much more to do with Dell's acquisition of Compellent and also Exanet and Ocarina. These three acquisitions put Dell in a position to make a very big splash in the enterprise storage market. A Compellent SAN with Ocarina compression and dedupe and an Exanet NAS head will be a mighty, mighty storage device.

    • Dell also bought Compellent (iSCSI, FC, etc.) and has their own MD series (DAS, iSCSI, FC). EqualLogic has it's own niche, but I'm not fond of that brand yet) as it's expensive to scale, but I'm sure makes sense in some cases.

      With EMC introducing VNX they're directly competing with each other in many spaces.

      We have several of the products I mentioned and they've perform very well.

      Full disclosure: The place I work for is an EMC and Dell (and HP and NetApp) partner/reseller/integrator...
      • by swb (14022)

        Out of curiosity, what makes Equallogic expensive to scale?

        Because scaling means adding a complete additional member?

        • That's right. To add more disks to an EqualLogic box you have to buy another whole box. With list prices on them in the 30-50K range it gets expensive really fast and you need more ports on your switches as well. For the environments we work in (lots of ERP systems and high-performance databases where we need lots of spindles) it doesn't make economic sense to that.

          To be fair they are fast, nice, and stable boxes that are probably good for small deployments where there isn't a storage admin. I'm sure the
          • by swb (14022)

            They make the argument, though, that this kind of expansion scales performance along with capacity, as the data gets striped over multiple units, increasing IOP capacity and distributing network load over more network ports.

            Disk additions would be nice, but from what I've seen, you can quickly overwhelm network capacity, although if you started with 10 gig ethernet it might be less of an issue.

            Sounds good, I know, but I've never seen it in action, even though I work for a reseller, as our deployments tend t

    • by rayvd (155635)

      Dell is actually pitching Compellent as their Tier 1 solution. They've had Equallogic for a number of years, but it is iSCSI only and definitely doesn't quite play in the same space as EMC and NetApp.

  • I keep getting cold calls at my office from EMC. About once a week the same representative calls wanting to know what EMC can do for us. Despite my telling her that she called me the week before and the answer is the same, she then claims she only got the account a few days ago... right. I'd imagine EMC needed Dell more than some people think.
    • by Bardwick (696376)
      It's called a call blitz. Alot of this comes from a huge list of phone numbers and account status. EMC is pushing a great deal of business down into the channel partners. The partners pay EMC's inside sales reps to call those numbers (we'll call 10,000 customers for you). I'll bet you a cookie that if you accept the invite and have them out, it will not be an EMC employee unless your storage spend is north of 1 million/year.
    • by billcopc (196330)

      I fielded one such call years ago. I calmly replied that their mid-range products cost more than my employer's annual gross, and never heard from them again.

      Sure, those fancy multi-tiered EMC boxes do a lot more than my ghetto Linux file servers, but if they cost about 5 years of salary just to acquire, well I can afford to lose up to 5 years of work on my ghetto box before the EMC becomes cost-effective. Especially now that high-end boards come with one or two 40GBE ports built-in, I can deploy some scar

      • VNX starts at $15K. You can get some awesome stuff from Dell starting at $7K. Realistically, an entry-level redundant system with some VMware and fast disks is $40-50K.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, you can get an EMC array for under $10k now (which should be well under your employer's annual gross).

        Sure you can get some fast ports going on your servers, but when all that IO hits your 5 SATA drive; on board RAID 5 set, with no caching; watch where your performance goes. It might be ok for a file share, but I wouldn't be putting my comany's databases or apps on that if there was a cost effecient choice

        • by billcopc (196330)

          Well okay, I'm a server guy. I've been a server guy since the late 90's, me and Supermicro go waaaay back. I know better than to put business-critical data on low-end hardware. I'm not completely oblivious to EMC and NetApp's offerings, but I do know my money still goes a lot further with DIY.

          My first "file server" was an old Linux box with a bunch of hard drives and PCI SATA controllers. Its purpose was to hold all my porn, because back then my job consisted of peddling said porn on the internet. It w

  • The partnership helped Dell increased their numbers but customers were always left to sway in the wind. Their sales process was a cluster. Their support for EMC was a cluster. We bought a lot of Dell branded EMC storage. Support came from Dell and their party line was to blame it on EMC but not provide any escalation to EMC engineers who could really help to identify solve problems. Basically all Dell was good for was sending a tech to replace disks that had 'phoned home' that they were failing.

    After some m

    • by kenrblan (1388237)
      I had a similar experience with a backup solution purchased through Dell. This was about 9 years ago. My employer put me in charge of fixing our backup infrastructure which was previously based on ArcServe running on a couple of servers with HP DDS-3 drives attached. It only protected Windows servers, and did it badly. I decided to go with Dell for an automated tape library. They were one of our approved vendors, which was important at the state funded university for which I was working. On the front-end, w
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @08:36AM (#37749116)

    When I worked in the finance industry, we bought AX100s from Dell - those were for the less critical systems. We cared less about support and more about cost.

    We bought Symmetrix and Clariion products direct from EMC. We did not want to deal with Dell tech support for those very critical systems. We paid through the nose, but EMC's support and training was top-notch.

    -ted

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @08:42AM (#37749190)

    Storage is a funny field, it is more expensive then people usually think.

    When I got hired my Boss wanted me to research a storage solution, In his mind he was willing to pay $2,000 he didn't tell me that. So I did the research figured out how much we needed called vendors got the information I needed and gave my boss an estimate of $40,000. He wasn't happy with that quote and told me how much they wanted to pay. So I came up with a solution that will fit the price, but then he wasn't happy because it didn't do everything they needed.
    Nothing happened.
    A year later they hired someone who specializes in storage solutions he did the research and came up with a $50,000 estimate. I told him that they won't like it but he didn't listen to me and the boss was unhappy with the quote they raised their expectation to about $20,000. He trimmed down the solution to be about $30,000 and they weren't happy because it didn't have all the features they wanted.
    Nothing happend.
    An other year later.
    They finally got the storage solution they wanted because they were sick of buying servers just because they needed storage. At this point they Paid $250,000 for the solution, all the bells and whistles. Because they really needed it.

    Now the company had been growing during this time so their requirements have grown. But the point is Storage Cost a lot of money, A lot more then we think it should be.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      BTDT. It's common when you've got idiots who don't understand IT, but think they do, holding the purse strings and making decisions.

      I've been in this same situation two times now. In one, the "I'm out of storage" situation lasted for the full term of my employment, with multiple proposals, rationales, etc. as to why we needed more. Apparently operating at 90%+ capacity was acceptable enough to them. Their lack of interest (or maybe I should say, disdain) meant I left.

      The second time, I had the boss actually

  • I'm surprised it took this long, but I guess this is when the contract expired. Once Dell tried to buy 3Par, it was obvious that they viewed EMC as a short-term partner to get their foot in the storage door, not a long-term partner. Considering the amount of money people pay for storage, I'm not surprised. We went through the same thing when HP dropped EMC back in the late 90s.

    (Note: I'm an EMC employee, but I have no involvement with contracts. I did notice that we switched PC brands from Compaq to Del

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