Dell, EMC Part After 10 Years

Dell announced it has ended a decade-long reseller relationship with EMC this month through which it sold more than a billion dollars worth of midrange and entry-level storage products.

The reseller agreement, which began in 2001 , has twice been renewed and was supposed to expire in 2013.

Travis Vigil, Dell 's executive director of product marketing for enterprise storage , told Computerworld earlier this year he would not speculate on whether the company would renew its reseller contract with EMC , saying only that it would continue to care for its joint Dell-EMC customers. That is exactly what the company said it will now do.

The partnership has been extremely profitable for both companies. Annually, EMC garnered 8 percent to 9 percent of its revenue from its relationship with Dell. For Dell, the partnership accounted for 50 percent of its storage revenue in years past -- about 90 percent of it coming from the resale of EMC's midrange Clariion line and 10% from the high-end systems.

For the past five or so years, there has been speculation that Dell and EMC would cut ties as Dell continued to bring more upscale storage to market and EMC continued to move downstream with products, creating hotter competition between the two technology giants.

Over the past three-and-a-half years, Dell invested more than $2 billion to expand its own family of storage products built for the virtualized, cloud -based data centers. Those investments include acquisitions of such companies as EqualLogic, Exanet, and Ocarina. Then, last year, Dell purchased SAN-vendor Compellent Technologies , which put it in direct competition with EMC's Clariion line.

Dell also announced it will invest another $1 billion this fiscal year in a broad range of storage technologies to extend its global reach into data center , mobile and cloud environments.

Dell said it will no longer sell Dell-branded EMC storage products, including Clariion storage area network (SAN) arrays, Celerra network-attacked storage (NAS) servers, Data Domain deduplication appliances and VNX NAS/SAN combination arrays.

The company will continue to provide existing Dell/EMC customers with Dell services and support to manage their storage environments. Going forward, Dell will support its customers new storage needs with its own growing storage portfolio.

Dell's line of storage products includes Compellent, EqualLogic, and PowerVault arrays, as well as data migration software such as Dell Fluid Data, which allows data to be automatically moved between tiers of storage.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

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