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Dell Computer

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see also:- Dell - editor mentions on

who's who in SSD? - Dell

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor -

In the world of SSDs - Dell has oemed and distributed products from a number of different manufacturers including:- Fusion-io, SanDisk, Micron, OCZ, Samsung and Intel.

Dell's influence on such suppliers has mainly been to push towards more reliability in firmware and ease of integration.

Dell has never (yet) been listed in the Top SSD Companies list. This confirms that it has never been seriously regarded as a leader in SSD or AFA architecture or roadmaps.

To understand the marketing dynamics of this industry see these important articles:-

Dell mentions in SSD market history

In March 2009 - Dell announced SSD options for its iSCSI compatible EqualLogic PS6000 storage arrays. Pricing starts at $25,000. This brings the number of rackmount SSD oems to 34.

In May 2011 - Fusion-io announced that more of its PCIe SSDs (including 640GB ioDrives and the 1.28TB Duo) are now available from Dell - which is also extending the number of server platforms supporting these accelerator options.

In March 2012 - Micron announced that it has developed a 2.5" form factor, hot swappable, PCIe SSD which is being used in Dell servers.

In February 2013 - Dell Ventures was one of the companies involved in a $51 million funding round of Skyera.

In June 2014 - Fusion-io announced that its all-flash ION Accelerator Appliance (fast rackmount SSD) will be offered as a fully integrated and Dell branded solution.

In October 2015 - Dell agreed to acquire EMC for $67 billion.
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Dell buys EMC - the SSD view
Editor:- October 13, 2015 - Dell yesterday announced it has agreed to acquire EMC for approximately $67 billion. The acquisition also included EMC's stake in the storage software company VMware - which will remain in public ownership.

Editor's comments:- In the short term this fixes a problem for Dell (its weakness in enterprise storage) and offers a credible way for EMC to adapt to a long term future in which its storage products become more commoditized and accessible to smaller businesses (something which Dell has historically been good at with its server business.)

The competitive landscape in enterprise storage is complex but a long term SSD centric summary goes something like this.

Servers have become a commodity. And there is little or no scope for genuine competitive value differentation options to be offered within the server market. (Being able to offer the same memories or SSDs in servers as everyone else - does not decommodify server product lines BTW.)

In contrast - enterprise storage - which in the HDD and post tape library and post optical storage era (2001 to 2008) had been coasting towards oblivious commoditization - has been temporarily reprieved from that fate (2009 to 2018) by the disruptive impact of SSD memory technologies which enabled the construction of 5 to 6 role differentiated types of new storage boxes which could deliver value to users in ways which were technically unimaginable and unfeasible with classically tiered memory and storage.

Having misfired its original entry into the enterprise flash market in 2008 - EMC has in recent years managed to accumulate credible industry leading proprietary IP and product lines in 2 of the 5 above storage box segments (which will satisfy projected enterprise storage needs in the post HDD era) meanwhile treading water in the other 3 main box segments (indicating its aspiration to occupy part of those other crowded beachheads if possible).

Assuming all goes well with the acquisition process - the Dell-EMC product line will enable EMC storage to be more competitive in the short term with existing products and to maybe credibly add another notch to the list of product types for which it has aspirations for clear leadership.

But the acute efficiency pressures on the server and storage markets which are emerging from SSD centric software and data architectures will mean that traditional product lines from both vendors will shrink away.

And those lost revenues will stay gone forever. The old ways and the old purchase orders won't be coming back. That's why it's important for both companies to draw in new smaller customers and to nurture them (if possible) into the new sustainable sold state storage and server product lines.

What about impacts for the SSD market?

Anyone who competes with Dell or EMC will - for the next year - have an easier ride - due to the inward focus which sucks away the attention of the talent following such acquisitions.

The SSD market as a whole will continue to supply memory and SSDs to the new company - and probably can look forward to getting more business in 18 months time.

But it won't simply be more of the same. Some SSD vendors may see big changes when Dell EOLs systems and modules which are cannibalistic and compete within the combined product lines.

Related comments:-

"This transaction comes out of weakness, not strength" said Scott Dietzen, CEO - Pure Storage - in his blog Purely Observations on Dell / EMC Deal.

The aptness of that summary made me jealous.

I guessed that Scott Dietzen has probably got some old product planning powerpoints somewhere which could provide many entertaining viewing hours about the competitive landscape analysis which focuses around this old style pair of soon to be married storage competitors.

So my comment to Dietzen's article post on linkedin was this.

re - "This transaction comes out of weakness, not strength" - is a profound understatement. Wish I'd written that.

See also:-