Tucci: EMC-Dell Relationship Hurt By Dell's Courtship Of 3PAR

EMC's top executive said that his company's relationship with Dell took a hit after Dell bid for rival storage vendor 3PAR, and that it will take time before things return to normal.

EMC Chairman, CEO, and President Joe Tucci made the remarks on Tuesday in response to an analyst's question about the potential impact on EMC of the acquisition of 3PAR by HP, one of EMC's top storage rivals, during EMC's third-quarter financial conference call.

HP late last month closed its $2.35 billion acquisition of 3PAR, a Fremont, Calif.-based developer of enterprise-class storage arrays featuring such services as clustering, tiered storage, and thin provisioning, which allows applications to be configured with more storage capacity than is physically available.

The signing of the agreement between the two ended HP's protracted bidding war with Dell over 3PAR. Dell started the bidding war in mid-August with its surprise bid of $1.15 billion for 3PAR.

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Dell has for years been EMC's biggest reseller partner, particularly in the midrange where Dell has accounted for up to one-quarter of EMC's Clariion array sales.

Next: 3PAR A Setback In The Dell-EMC Partnership

EMC took a step back from its relationship as Dell moved to acquire 3PAR, Tucci said.

EMC's Clariion business was "obviously" affected by Dell's bid for 3PAR, Tucci said.

EMC and Dell are in discussions about how to restore their relationship, Tucci said. However, he said, it is important that the two make sure any agreement between them benefits both of them before their relationship returns to normal.

"Obviously, 3PAR was a setback in the relationship," he said.

While HP's acquisition of 3PAR will help the company improve its storage technology, EMC is not concerned about any increased competitiveness from HP as a result, Tucci said. 3PAR has been around for 10 years, and EMC has been competing with it for a long time, he said.

Next: What About Isilon?

Another analyst, in an indirect reference to rumors that EMC might acquire Isilon, also asked Tucci how clustered NAS technology fits in EMC's cloud strategy.

EMC is reportedly considering a $2 billion bid for Isilon, a developer of clustered, scale-out NAS technology.

Tucci responded that EMC already has a high-end NAS product in its Celerra product line, and has "solid" plans for NAS in the cloud. However, he declined to comment further.

"As always, I'd like to keep some surprises... But I can say we have a really solid plan for 2011," he said.