Scale-Out NAS Vendor Isilon Preps VARs Before Acquisition By EMC

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Scale-out NAS vendor Isilon Systems is preparing its solution providers for working with EMC once EMC's acquisition of Isilon closes. In turn, those solution providers are taking a wait-and-see attitude to the deal and its impact on the channel.

Meanwhile, NetApp and its channel say they are ready for the new competition posed by the acquisition.

EMC on November 15 said it plans to acquire Isilon for about $2.25 billion, with the deal expected to close sometime before the end of this year.

Isilon is a developer of scale-out NAS technology, and its acquisition is expected to help EMC close a NAS storage technology gap in relation to such competitors as NetApp.

Isilon's OneFS operating system allows customers to add storage nodes without disrupting storage operations up to a maximum of 10.4 petabytes in a single file system. Performance of the company's storage architecture also scales with the addition of storage nodes to up to 45 GBs per second.

Isilon has already been meeting with its solution providers to discuss some of the potential impacts the company's channel partner base can expect once the acquisition closes, said Leonard Iventosch, vice president of global channel partners for Isilon.

However, the main message for now is to continue with business as usual, Iventosch said.

"EMC is a competitor of ours, and so we need to keep competing," he said.

Some Isilon solution providers have already reported being approached by EMC sales reps to work with that company, Iventosch said. "We tell them, if they want an EMC relationship down the road, do it," he said. "But for now, stay focused on competing.

Once the acquisition closes, Isilon partners should not expect a wave of EMC solution providers immediately gaining access to the Isilon product line, Iventosch said.

"EMC is committed to helping Isilon increase its sales," he said. "We will look for opportunities to tie into the EMC sales network, but that's our decision."

That's possible because Isilon, under EMC, is expected to be run as an independent division, with the primary change post-acquisition expected to be the transfer of EMC's Atmos cloud storage product line to Isilon, said George Bennett, senior vice president of global field operations for Isilon.


Next: Keeping Isilon Independent

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