Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Businesses Data Storage The Almighty Buck IT

Dell, EMC Said To Be In Merger Talks (itworld.com) 97

itwbennett writes: According to a Wall Street Journal report (paywalled), Dell might buy some or all of storage giant EMC. (The grain of salt here is that the Journal's report cited unnamed sources, and cautioned that the companies might not finalize any agreement.) If the report has it right, though, "a total merger would be one of the biggest deals ever in the technology industry," writes Stephen Lawson for IDG, "with EMC holding a market value of about US$50 billion. It would also bring together two of the most important vendors to enterprise IT departments."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dell, EMC Said To Be In Merger Talks

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh the humanity!

    • That would be sweet. Overclocked CPUs, water cooling, neon lights in a storage array with a 3D GUI interface built on the Unity or Unreal platform.

    • ...Which by 2025 will be able to run Windows 10.

      • Technically you can install Windows 10 on Dell's current Compellent SANs. They're just Intel boxes.

        On the flip-side I'd TOTALLY buy an Alienware SAN :D

  • Oh great (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Something else for Dell to foul up.
    • Re:Oh great (Score:5, Informative)

      by AntEater ( 16627 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @09:10AM (#50685381) Homepage

      I don't know if you're joking, or have only dealt with Dell's consumer level stuff. Their "enterprise" level support is excellent and the products generally perform as advertised, if not better.

      I'm not sure what Dell or EMC would gain out of this merger, if it is even true. Dell already owns Equallogic which covers the low to mid-range of the storage market pretty well in Dell's offerings.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        Wasn't Dell manufacturing for EMC, at least at some point? There are a lot of similarities between a lot of EMC hardware and Dell hardware...
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Dell was a EMC reseller for a while. Then they decided to sell Equallogic.

          • And the Compellent line. This all lead to a rather nasty divorce between the two.
            • Compellent and Equalogic are to of the great examples of Dell buying a competent lineup, and ruining it forever. They are forever a day late, dollar short. There is, however, a class of bosses who value "Enterprise" labels on things, because it removes them from poor decisions. Dell is the new IBM that nobody got fired for buying. And eventually, they will end up like IBM as Just Another IT Services Company. I'll let you decide if that is worth anything in the long run.

              • I bought a Compellent system about 2 years ago and absolutely love it. Had a EMC CX4-120 previously. The Compellent SC8000 is solid.

                • If you need a smaller array you should check out the SC4020 as well. Runs the same code base as the SC8000 on smaller hardware platform (slower CPU's, less memory) and in some benchmarks (read: not real world typically) can actually outperform the SC8K when fully kitted out due to an internal IPC connection instead of external. You can also happily replicate between the two so the 4020 makes for a great cost-effective DR site replication target when budget is limited. Or a remote datacenter SAN you can repl

                  • Neither of them have the IOPS needed for any kind modern applications. And if you don't have IOPS, you might as well go for a less expensive system that can create the same level of IOPS, with better redundancy using off the shelf drives, that have the same performance capabilities (See BackBlaze for statistics) as the "Enterprise" drives used by Dell, for half the cost.

                    THE ONLY reason you buy either is for "Enterprise" support. While that may be worth it to you, I personally would rather have more capacity

                    • Neither of them have the IOPS needed for any kind modern applications.

                      While I agree with just about everything else you wrote; I do take some issue with this particular statement.

                      Modern applications meaning what exactly? If you're talking about big data then you're right... but you don't use a traditional SAN array for big data if you're smart; you use a proper object-based storage platform and scale it that way. Traditional SAN arrays suck for those workloads. But if you're talking VDI, SQL, web farms and general purpose virtualization then I'm afraid you're wrong.

                      Realistica

        • Not quite. Although many times EMC uses Dell parts (sometimes even a whole Dell chassis,) it's not Dell that manufactures them (It's usually not EMC that does it either, rather the manufacturing usually gets done somewhere down the distribution chain.)

          Anyways if I were to guess, I would say that Dell wants to better compete with HP by being able to offer high end storage that HP now has after acquiring 3Par.

      • Their "enterprise" level support is excellent and the products generally perform as advertised, if not better.

        Hmm. We once paid 12 grand for Pentium server that under-performed the 486-based DFI machine it replaced. Turns out they had forgotten to install the L2 cache chips.

        The "upgradeability" of their systems never seemed to pan out. It tended to be based on special form-factor riser cards which rarely, if ever got upgraded models.

        I've got a on server sitting right now that I'd love to re-purpose, but the motherboard isn't standard, so putting in a new motherboard and power supply won't let me keep using the rath

        • Re: Oh great (Score:4, Interesting)

          by martin0641 ( 1912130 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @10:33AM (#50685959)
          It's almost 2016, I don't think we can link a 486 anecdote to today. Plus, we are talking enterprise here - I don't upgrade systems after purchase, I buy new ones and excess pallets of "old" ones. Dell's UEFI and iDRAC support are quite nice now, if they buy EMC and start baking that into their products then NetApp and others are going to be in deep trouble.
          • Maybe you paid $12K back in the early Pentium days for a non-Enterprise machine, but the Fortune corporation I worked for didn't. We had that thing hooked up to a mainframe tape drive, which itself was something like $15K in Y2K dollars. We were loading massive quantities of data onto high-speed SCSI disks, and in fact the ONLY reason the whole app wasn't mainframe-based was that the department head was a control freak who didn't want to be at the mercy of the central data center.

            For that much money, it wa

      • EMC also owns other properties, such as RSA. The latter alone could be valuable to Dell. EMC would regain business that Dell used to send them prior to Equallogic.

      • Re:Oh great (Score:5, Insightful)

        by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @10:30AM (#50685931)

        Dell own Equallogic (low-to-mid) and Compellent (mid-to-high).

        They already can't quite figure out how to merge the two systems and have been selling both. The inside story is that EQL will go away, but they never seem to go away and Compellent can't quite come up with a product as simple and cheap as EQL. The SC4020, rather than being an EQL with SAS expansion ends up being burdened by Compellent's over-complicated interface system and fiber-channel focused mindset, in addition to being more expensive than EQL (install by a CML certified technician is required, $$$). EQL setup is trivial, I can get one on line in less than an hour.

        I think there's also an open question about the mid-long range future of Compellent's primary sales pitch, its automatic tiering of data between different disk speeds (like SSD, 15k and 7.2k) when the future of data storage looks increasingly like it will be all flash, at least for most of the market volume.

        What does all that tiering overhead mean in a world dominated by flash? Maybe it makes sense for the absolute largest installs where petabytes are in play, but most of the Compellent installs I've seen have been a shelf of tier 1 and maybe 2 shelves of tier 3. And they're increasingly 10G iSCSI focused, passing on FC.

        I can't figure out how they'd blend in EMC to this mix.

        What they're probably after is controlling interest in VMware. This would give them a complete vertical play for virtualization, being able to supply compute, networking, storage and hypervisor. They would probably also be in a position to further a lot of network and storage virtualization with control over both sides of the equation, hardware an software.

        I do wonder if there's a possible anti-trust question here. I also wonder how Microsoft would feel about it as well.

        • They already can't quite figure out how to merge the two systems and have been selling both. The inside story is that EQL will go away, but they never seem to go away and Compellent can't quite come up with a product as simple and cheap as EQL.

          Scuttlebutt is that they're prepping to release firmware for EQL and CML that will allow cross-replication and extend the Enterprise Manager tool to also manage EQL. And the simplicity... well they did just come out with the SCv2000 which is all wizard-driven and about as dead simple to set up as the EQL. I predict we'll see that same level of simplicity making its way into the higher tier products pretty soon.

          I think there's also an open question about the mid-long range future of Compellent's primary sales pitch, its automatic tiering of data between different disk speeds (like SSD, 15k and 7.2k) when the future of data storage looks increasingly like it will be all flash, at least for most of the market volume.

          What does all that tiering overhead mean in a world dominated by flash? Maybe it makes sense for the absolute largest installs where petabytes are in play, but most of the Compellent installs I've seen have been a shelf of tier 1 and maybe 2 shelves of tier 3. And they're increasingly 10G iSCSI focused, passing on FC.

          To me this is interesting. Thing is there's more than one type of SSD technology at play today. Th

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            And the simplicity... well they did just come out with the SCv2000 which is all wizard-driven and about as dead simple to set up as the EQL. I predict we'll see that same level of simplicity making its way into the higher tier products pretty soon.

            That would sure be nice. I like the statistics and most of the features of EM, but their I/O configuration is lunacy, up to and including the required license for virtual ports. All of that feels like a networking configuration system that was solved (and better) elsewhere. I'd like to think they don't make it horrifically complicated just to drive reseller/support revenue and that there's something deep inside that makes it worthwhile, but I find it hard to believe.

            The auto tiering if configured correctly can certainly make for an interesting performance story. Put SLC at the top where you want fast writes and allow it to trickle down to MLC and/or TLC... just like 15K->10K->7K. There's a question mark over whether current controllers can really take advantage of the potential performance in this kind of setup, but we're seeing controller performance increasing over generations anyway.

            IMHO, new flash technologies like Inte

      • Their "enterprise" level support is excellent and the products generally perform as advertised

        No. They buy good products, and turn them into bad products with "Enterprise" support, which is enough to keep pointy head bosses happy. You'd be surprise how much leverage "Enterprise" matters to people.

      • Dell already owns Equallogic which covers the low to mid-range of the storage market pretty well in Dell's offerings.

        Dell ALSO owns Compellent which covers the mid to high range of the storage market too.

        The only asset that EMC has that Dell I think might want would be VMware and the installed base of EMC. EMC still sell some nice arrays, but they're pretty spendy for what you get.

      • by eth1 ( 94901 )

        I'm not sure what Dell or EMC would gain out of this merger, if it is even true. Dell already owns Equallogic which covers the low to mid-range of the storage market pretty well in Dell's offerings.

        Well, the merged company would be "DMC," which would allow them to make storage that sends IO requests back in time, resulting in their completing instantly in the present. Should reduce latency considerably.

      • Dell's last two attempts at storage - equallogic and compellent - have been complete and utter failures. Their portion of market share isn't even a rounding error. EMC would give them a legitimate play in storage, not even taking into account RSA and their other software products.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Something else for Dell to foul up.

      I understand that you've never ever worked with EMC products. They can't be fouled up since the fouling is complete from the factory.
      Of all the people I have heard say positive things about EMC products exactly ZERO has actually worked with said products.

      • Their gear has worked quite reliably for us. We had a Symmetrix DMX1000 for about 6 years, and a Centera, and EMC's service was impeccable; while the DMX did suffer from some hardware issues at one point, their FEs busted arse on it, and we never had an actual outage. Managing that beast was no picnic though. That was retired, and now we're using a CLARiiON CX-4 (bought from Dell at the time but also soon to be phased out) and a relatively VNX5400, both of which are much easier to manage and have been stab
      • I've worked at least a little with all of the major storage vendors, and pretty much the only knock I'll make against EMC is that they have so many different storage solutions that it's kind of hard to keep track of which is for what purpose. That said, some of these solutions do perform better (or at least are more straightforward to configure) than others, but in EMC's defense that's because a lot of these solutions came from fairly recent acquisitions.

  • Dell is reportedly in talks to buy all or part of enterprise storage powerhouse EMC, which would mark a bold and unexpected new chapter in the PC maker's history.

    According to unnamed sources in the WSJ, who also cautioned the companies might not finalize any agreement. Cautionary tale.

    Sort of like this, [cnn.com] these deals don't always materialize.

  • by enjar ( 249223 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:51AM (#50685307) Homepage

    Dude, you got laid off!

    Seriously, though, what a unholy mess that would be. EMC grew by acquiring a lot of other companies, then spinning them off, and not really doing a fantastic job of integrating anything, then laying off tens of thousands only to hire again. Dell has it's own history of being huge, then being private, now seemingly on the roll again. It would be a fitting end for the the execs at EMC that acquired and fired to get acquired and fired themselves, although the big difference will be that they will get some giant golden parachute.

    • You know, from what I've been able to see, the M+A culture in tech for the last 20+ years has consistently made the same stupid mistakes ... companies buy other companies who aren't really good matches, screw up the product, lay off a bunch of people, and consolidate into an ever smaller amount of companies.

      And those large entities become worse and worse at even knowing what they have, and making use of them.

      Often to the point that the reasons they spent huge sums of money on the acquisition in the first pl

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You are 100% right. And the fault lies COMPLETELY with the business people, not the engineers. MBA types really don't understand business at all, because they don't understand THE business of the company. They don't understand how products or services get created. The know how to add up numbers on a spreadsheet.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        All it really does is gut smaller companies, give those executives huge payouts while laying off their staff, and then leaving the new company to ignore/neglect/screw up the product offerings of the company which got bought.

        If you're one of these executives, this is not a bad thing. It's the goal.

      • I would argue that acquisitions is more destructive than constructive.

        Frequently that is true and there is plenty of academic research to support this thesis. It's not true all the time however. There are plenty of very successful acquisitions and it's not hard to find them. I've been involved with a few successful ones myself. It's not hard to find acquisitions that destroyed value though.

        The ones that tend to work best are bolt on inquisitions between companies with similar cultures. Integrating two companies is hard but if the cultures clash it will almost certainly b

        • I was at a company once, and they'd grown by acquisitions. I'm sure everybody has by now.

          Invariably, the VP of R&D of the last major acquisition became the VP of R&D for the entire company. And, also invariably, that VP of R&D would develop a massive case of Not Invented Here, and attempt to kill off any products outside of his own core knowledge.

          This usually led to idiotic decisions which were inconsistent with why that company was bought in the first place -- precisely because they stupidly

          • Acquisition MIGHT be something which can be made to work.

            There's no need to qualify that statement. Some acquisition activity is demonstrably beneficial. Berkshire Hathaway is a great example of a company that does lots of acquisitions. But the reason it works for them is that they are careful not to screw up what made the company they are acquiring great in the first place. (In fact they largely leave the acquired company alone aside from some capital allocation) Apple also is a pretty good example of a company that seems to usually do a good job with acquis

    • I find it really odd that anyone would want a Dell computer. Both the designs as well as the quality are lacking in my humble opinion.
      • by enjar ( 249223 )

        I had a Dell notebook in college, running a Windows 3.1 and a speed demon 25 MHz processor. The thing lasted 5+ years, and the thing that finally died was the battery. It had a black and white screen and pretty decent battery life.

        My wife has an Inspiron something or other that's been chugging along for 4+ years. I need to transplant a SSD into it, but otherwise the quality is perfectly fine. But it was bought from their "business" site, which means no bloatware to remove and (IMHO) it's much better designe

  • by Matt_Bennett ( 79107 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:53AM (#50685321) Homepage Journal

    I used to work for Dell- I remember at one of the company meetings, I think it was Michael Dell himself, referring to EMC as "Excess Margin Corporation" - of course this was before they were partnering on projects.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @10:14AM (#50685809)

    EMC, Cisco and VMWare are tied up in a sort of loose alliance to sell cloudy boxes to large companies (VBlock.) I wonder what would happen with that, and also whether Dell would own VMWare. That would be a pretty huge reversal of fortune for Dell. I guess that trip through privatization let them fix the company without being under the microscope every quarter. It seems to me that this would be a lesson for companies looking to IPO -- unless you need access to billions and billions of dollars in funding, being out of the public eye can be a good thing.

    I honestly haven't looked at Dell hardware for a very long time, since most of the physical stuff we deploy is outside of the US and they have horrible international warranty service. Their low end consumer PCs are garbage and always have been, but I've heard the business lines of desktops, laptops and servers are still halfway decent.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dell going private was the right move because the stock market and financial services industry as a whole are completely broken.

      There are some very, very, very rich scumbags that manage hedge funds that have found out they can take over, cripple, disassemble, and sell off the assets all but the very largest and very most powerful companies in the world and they do it regularly.

      Hedge funds (and similar entities) will collude with each other. They will buy up your stock, gain control, fuck over your company,

    • by elistan ( 578864 )

      I honestly haven't looked at Dell hardware for a very long time, since most of the physical stuff we deploy is outside of the US and they have horrible international warranty service. Their low end consumer PCs are garbage and always have been, but I've heard the business lines of desktops, laptops and servers are still halfway decent.

      Warning: anecdote from a Winddows admin incoming.
      I started working in a Compaq shop. Which became HP, of course.
      Then a heterogeneous shop with IBM, Dell and HP.
      Then an all-Dell shop.
      Then an all-HP shop.
      In my experience, all three brands have had generally the same reliability and performance - but the ease of server management (installing drivers and updates, configuring lights-out management and alerts, etc.) and the experience of tech support have been significantly better with Dell.

      (Regarding SA

  • Dell can't 'acquire' EMC, there's no way they have the cash.

    "Another report, this time fromre/code,HYPERLINK "http://recode.net/2015/10/07/emc-is-looking-to-sell-part-of-its-business-to-dell/"citesits own sources to the effect that EMC was merely trying to offload its VNX line"

    This rumor is more credible, Dell could probably afford something like the VNX line.

    • Dell can't 'acquire' EMC, there's no way they have the cash.

      You don't need cash to do an acquisition or merger. It can be an all stock transaction which is essentially funny-money with no cash changing hands. Cash is nice but not actually required as long as your stock price is high enough.

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        Ok, they don't have the cash or equity either to 'acquire'. Merger might be another thing, but the story has said 'Dell looking to acquire' not 'looking to merge'.

        • Ok, they don't have the cash or equity either to 'acquire'.

          Sure they do. All they have to do is issue stock and have the shareholders of the other company accept that as payment. You can call it a "merger" if you want but functionally it will be an acquisition by one company or the other at the end of the day. One management team is going bye-bye and whose left will tell you who bought who. Chrysler merging with Daimler was a "merger of equals" but not really. Happens all the time.

: is not an identifier

Working...