Dell Outlines Integration And Channel Plan For Compellent And Other Storage Tech

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Dell will also integrate Compellent's tiering technology into its other storage offerings to make automated tiering available to all its storage customers, he said.

"When customers buy storage from Dell, they should be able to expect the different parts to work with a consistent look and feel," he said.

Such integration takes time, George said. Integration of the Exanet technology into Dell's EqualLogic and PowerVault lines started immediately after the acquisition a little over a year ago, and the Ocarina integration started the day after Dell closed that acquisition, he said.

The integration of the various storage technologies will also aid Dell's move to be a provider of converged infrastructure, which combines storage, server, and networking technologies into a single architecture which can be managed as a complete solution.

Under Dell's Virtual Integrated System architecture, customers can choose any Dell servers, storage appliances, or networking switches for their data centers, with the switches able to automatically configure themselves to work with the storage and servers, George said.

"They all recognize each other," he said. "So you can buy whatever Dell servers and storage you want, and get the benefits of them working together."

The Compellent products will eventually be integrated into the Virtual Integrated System architecture. "We just closed the deal a couple days ago," Soran said. "Give us some time."

The integration will result in Dell having an "unbeatable" storage architecture, Soran said. "Dell's gone from being a storage reseller a couple years ago to being a technology leader," he said.

Dell's reputation as a "storage reseller" stemmed from a long-term agreement under which it sold storage hardware and software from EMC. Under that deal, Dell became EMC's largest reseller, accounting at one time for up to one-third of EMC's Clariion midrange storage array revenue. However, that relationship has been slipping since Dell acquired EqualLogic, and was pretty much ended by its acquisition of Compellent.

On the channel side, Compellent not only brings Dell 450 solution providers to go with Dell's original 900 storage-focused partners, it also brings additions to the Dell channel program, said Soran, who prior to the acquisition was president and CEO of Compellent.

"Dell a couple years ago was not known as channel-friendly," he said. "But a lot of changes happened after it acquired EqualLogic."

A lot more changes are coming with Compellent, Soran said.

For instance, Compellent's deal registration program was fairly unique in that a solution provider who registered a deal got to keep the benefits of the registration as long as the customer remained happy. Dell is in the process of adding this feature, which it calls relationship registration, as part of its channel program.

Dell is also keeping Compellent's Copilot program, which includes such services as proactive capacity management and load management, and plans to expand it to other Dell storage and non-storage products, George said.


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