March 17, 2011, 4:38 PM — Over the last year, Dell acquired clustered storage vendor Exanet , data compression vendor Ocarina and SAN vendor Compellent . Those latest acquisitions add layers on top of Dell 's buyout of midrange storage vendor EqualLogic.
Now Dell's working to pull its acquisitions together under a single management layer, allowing file migration, replication and deduplication between storage platforms.
"What our vision is ... with Exanet and Ocarina is to layer in that technology to serve as the linkage to bring all these other technologies to life," said Travis Vigil, Dell's executive director of product marketing for enterprise storage.
Specifically, Dell hopes to announce by the time of its June user conference in Orlando an integration of Exanet's scalable file system with its homegrown PowerVault entry-level storage systems and Compellent and EquaLogic storage area network (SAN) products. That would allow Dell to use Ocarina's appliances in front of its arrays to perform deduplication/compression on unstructured data such as e-mail. Dell expects to complete that integration in the second half of this year.
"So step one is getting a common file system across the portfolio. Once you get that, you can start to do interesting things in terms of the life-cycle management of data," Vigil said. "You can use that common context to put in an overarching architecture to manage that data from primary storage, to secondary storage to archive, like with our DX [object storage] products."
Dell plans to drive its Compellent SAN technology up the stack to the enterprise market, while EqualLogic will remain focused on the midsize storage market. One feature Dell acquired with Compellent was data tiering , or the ability to move data internal to the array between different classes of disk drives.