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Dell's gradual break with EMC was due, in part, to Dell's gradual rise as not only a serious competitor in the storage market, but also as a company with a solid and growing channel program focused primarily on the storage business.
That rise dated from late 2007, when Dell unveiled a $1.4-billion bid to acquire EqualLogic, one of the pioneers in the fast-growing iSCSI business. Dell closed that acquisition in 2008, and since then it has become Dell's most important storage product line.
Last Summer Dell made a bid to acquire another storage vendor, 3PAR. Dell eventually lost the deal to Hewlett-Packard after a short but intense bidding war, but not before the damage to its relationship with EMC was done.
However, Dell is currently in the process of closing its $960 million acquisition Compellent, a channel-only storage vendor with a very loyal cadre of solution providers.
Tucci said there will always be some relationship between Dell and EMC, but the relationship of the past is gone.
"It is a fraction of what it was, a small fraction," Tucci said. "And I think in the SMB space it will…I think there will always be a relationship between the companies and there will be some products. But the core of the (EMC) family has got to be a competitor to Dell's storage products. Part of (Dell's) PowerVault plays there. Most of EqualLogic plays there."
Steve Burke contributed to this article.