Partners Endorse Dell's Bid For Compellent, But Question Product Overlap

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Dell's plan to acquire storage vendor Compellent has the strong approval of some of its top solution providers who find the combination of the two the best way for both to grow going forward.

However, the channel does have some reservations over the proposed acquisition given the potential overlap in storage products between Compellent and the Dell-EqualLogic lines, and the potential for Dell to turn Compellent into a low-margin offering.

Dell on Thursday said it and Compellent are in discussions about Dell acquiring Compellent for a total of about $876 million, a move which would give Dell one of the industry's leading storage virtualization technologies and a big boost to its channel base.

The bid to acquire Compellent is the latest effort by Dell to make itself into a bigger player in the storage market, including its unsuccessful bid in September to acquire 3PAR after a short but intense bidding war with Hewlett-Packard, as well as its successful acquisition in early 2008 of storage vendor EqualLogic, which made Dell one of the industry's top storage vendors.

Patrick Mulvee, vice president of sales and marketing at Sidepath, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and partner to both Dell and Compellent, said his company is ecstatic over the possible acquisition.

A typical customer solution for Sidepath includes Dell servers, Compellent storage, VMware virtualization software, and Brocade networking, Mulvee said.

Sidepath does work occasionally with Dell's EqualLogic storage offering, and has been an EqualLogic partner for years, Mulvee said. "But then we fell in love with Compellent," he said.

Dell can help Compellent accelerate its storage technology development, Mulvee said. "Dell has a ton of money to throw at Compellent to add new features like dedupe and encryption, and to take it to the next level as customers move to the cloud," he said.

The timing of the proposed acquisition is perfect for Sidepath, Mulvee said. "We just doubled our office space, and are building a new demonstration center for Compellent," he said.

Paul Clifford, a principle at Davenport Group, a St. Paul-based solution provider and partner to both vendors, said he was on the telephone all morning talking to customers about the proposed acquisition.


Next: What Do The Customers Think Of Dell-Complellent?

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