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Isilon's CEO Sujal Patel will run the new division and report to Pat Gelsinger, president and CEO for information infrastructure products at EMC, Bennett said. "But beneath Sujal, nothing will change in our organization," he said.
It will be up to Isilon to not make its products available to thousands of EMC resellers, Iventosch said. "But there may be EMC partners in some geographies where we have not been doing well," he said. "We may look to resellers in such geographies to grow our business. But we still plan to maintain our limited distribution model."
Bennett said solution providers can look to EMC's 2008 acquisition of Data Domain as a possible model of how the acquisition of Isilon might impact them.
"If there ever was an acquisition that EMC could incorporate into its business, (Data Domain) was it," he said. "But EMC said it would run Data Domain autonomously, and it did."
EMC's acquisition of Isilon can be good news for Isilon partners because it validates the company's technology and channel strategy, said Dave Cerniglia, president of Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and partner of both Isilon and Hitachi Data Systems, a major EMC rival in the storage market.
"I'm interested in seeing EMC's long-term strategy for Isilon," Cerniglia said. "The word from Isilon is, EMC will keep it separate. But EMC also talks about combining it with Atmos. So it's not clear what will happen.
For Isilon partners who have had issues with EMC before, or have been competing with EMC, the acquisition could offer them new opportunities, Iventosch said.
"Our products are different from EMC," he said. "Our partners may now find EMC sales reps opening new opportunities than they had before. And in some cases, EMC will make it easier to compete with NetApp."
Iventosch also said the acquisition does not mean Isilon partners will automatically become part of the EMC channel program. Instead, they will have to go through EMC to join that company's program.
"But who knows?" he said. "Two years down the road, things may change."
The acquisition will definitely mean more competition for NetApp, Bennett said. "NetApp will probably view Isilon as a much bigger threat," he said. "We will become global overnight."
Next: NetApp Not Worried About Isilon