back to article Of supermarkets, Volkswagen and the future of Dell-EMC

September 7 sees Dell Technologies absorb EMC and its VMware holding. Storage-watchers are seeing lots of overlap between the Dell and EMC storage products and wondering if there is going to be a product cull. So far there are no signs of this and it could be useful to ask if Dell + EMC is going to be a traditional few- …

  1. mix

    "Lambhorguni buyer"

    Damn Chinese with their knock off supercars...

  2. LDS Silver badge

    OVerlapping may be good, if you can afford it

    Automotive may have overlapping products, but it strive for a lot of synergies in productions, so "different" products can be built out of the same components, and often mostly only the aesthetic differs - platforms, engines, etc. are the same, but for very high-end models. They of course have to cope with a market were buyers often buy "by guts" and where brands have a strong meaning to buyers.

    Supermarkets don't produce (they own branded products are usually outsourced, often to the same factories working for main brands), thereby they have to maximize sales offering what buyers want. Competition among brands for shelf space and positioning may also be an advantage for supermarkets, because they can mean better deals.

    Server room equipment is a different market (consumer electronics may look a lot like automotive) - probably to offer products able to better cover market needs they would need to learn how to build overlapping products with enough synergies to bring down costs. Customers would usually like to choose among solutions better tailored to their needs, but sometimes vendors prefer to be able to sell more expensive solutions even when not really needed.

    1. kyndair

      Re: OVerlapping may be good, if you can afford it

      The supermarket own brand products are in the main are not made by them (some do own factories where they see the advantage e.g. time to market etc.) but they aren't getting them made by the major 'brands' which are owned by P&G, unilver, etc. either. The major brands occasionally use the third parties that supply the supermarkets but that's only during peak times and mostly as packers rather than manufacturers.

  3. chrismevans

    Chris, It's worth remembering that as the Dell and EMC organisations come together there will be a lot of R&D overlap too. Hardware may/will be simplified if all moved to Dell tech, but the combined company would have R&D lines for each of the storage products, each potentially running separately. If Dell could merge these and still do development work on each platform, perhaps they could support customer sales. However it seems from the outside to be more practical to rationalise platforms and move customers over to a smaller common set of hardware (where there is direct or almost 100% overlap, like VNX/Unity & PS) and save on the R&D costs.

    Running a supermarket operation is great if you're not the manufacturer too; Walmart, Tesco and others don't care about the production costs, they just buy in and sell out at a profit. I suspect if the supermarkets were also producers, then they would have a different view.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After going through a process recently looking for a low-mid range SAN, one thing that the sector definitely does not need is more competing choice. There is so many different suppliers and different ways of doing the same thing. There is also so much conflicting opinion from both manufacturers and independent 'experts' and very few long-term real-world comparative reviews.

    I don't see brand differentiation as being much use other than to existing owners who want to extend their system, new buyers aren't looking for a company that is in a conflict with itself.

    Of all the projects I have looked at in IT this was the most difficult to narrow down a choice that I would be confident was the best choice for us amongst the competing systems. It's no wonder why there is so much loss making and why start-ups are finding the industry hard. If you're not the sort of person who just speaks to a supplier, tells them the spec and accepts their recommendation (something that I found is not a good idea in this area) then set aside a lot of time to try to find the best solution.

  5. cortland

    "That's our stake in the ground."

    At a crossroads. At midnight. With garlic. And a silver crucifix.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    goodbye equalogic in my opinion..... who needs iSCSI arrays... ;oP

    As for VW brands.... pretty sure car companies don't look at overlapping types of cars when they acquire another car marque! it's more around the prestige/value of the brand and their target market....

    Whoever heard of a car company not acquiring another car company because they make similar 5-door family cars or SUVs?!?

    Luxury Sports brands - Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche

    Prestige brands - Bentley

    Affordable brands - Audi, VW

    Budget brands - Seat, Skoda

    Then there's the Trucks - Scania and MAN....

  7. Guus Leeuw


    Dear Sir,

    "Let's list a few Volkswagen car brands: Audi; Bugatti; Seat; Skoda; Lamborghini; Porsche; and VW itself."

    followed by:

    "Prestige sports cars: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche"

    Where did the Bentley come in to the equation?



  8. damnyankee

    I expect Dell to kill of the PowerVault iSCSI/FC line, while retaining the SAS powervault lineup. Between Unity, Dell SCv2000, and small PS arrays, OEMed NetApp E-series won't have a place whenever that reselling agreement is up for renewal.

    Most of the EMC portfolio would be relatively easy to move to Dell tin. Isilon, Atmos, RecoverPoint and others all run on commodity x86 chassis as it is, and it's just a matter of swapping their current OEM (Lenovo? I recall something about a Lenovo deal, though some of it was still Dell), Isilon used to use Dell R710s, Recoverpoint was R620s, so I expect that to be a quick and painless change over at the next product refresh.

    Bargaining powers with drive suppliers will also improve, as the combined Dell/EMC will almost certainly be the single biggest purchaser of disk capacity.

    SC/Unity hardware unification may take a bit longer, though the SC4000 chassis might be a decent contender.

    I just hope they start using Dell rails instead of the shite VNX ships with.

  9. Don The Elder

    Automotive analogy

    I'll get to IT (one of my careers) eventually. Probably most of you are not familiar with American car history. I grew up with:

    GM - Chevy, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac (from the cheapest to the Most expensive)

    Ford - Ford, Edsel, Mercury, Lincoln

    Chrysler - Plymouth, Desoto, Dodge, Chrysler, Imperial

    American Motors - Nash, Hudson.

    In each group, the mid-range cars were considered the sportiest. The consolidation began after the Great War. Your country was so devastated by the two World Wars that consolidation didn't occur until the end of the century, although the disappearance of marques happened in both countries.

    So Studebaker and Packard died, the Cord never flew, American bought Jeep, the gas crisis occurred, Chrysler bought American to get Jeep, and we have:

    GM - Chevy, Buick, Cadillac

    Ford - Ford, Lincoln

    (DiamondStar)-(Benz)-Fiat-Chrysler - Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram Trucks.

    I see the same scenario in IT today, because the Bean Counters always win! Fortunately, I'm retired.

    Trivia: Bentley was formed as a racing company. They were major competitors of Rolls-Royce in the 1920s. The Merlin engine of Spitfire fame was an outgrowth of Rolls' racing-airplane group.

    Previously used in American light tanks in World II, Rolls-Royce acquired a license to produce the Oldsmobile Hydramatic for Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles. It continued production until 1967.

    Possibly apocryphally, it was said that when the Rolls engineers dismantled the transmission they thought the finish on the plates was too rough, so they polished it. Of course it didn't work!

    Back to IT, why aren't Micro$oft, Gaggle, and Amazme clouds mentioned?

  10. The Godfather


    Marked difference between a car manufacturer and Supermarkets that sell product other manufacturers produce to the likes of you and me and two ingrained and competing technology companies merging into one. Expect to see a thorough review of product and lines covered and even a new direction with the usual chopping of overheads.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me boil this article down to a couple sentences: what you described is basically this thing called "business" which happens every single day in every single company that is offering multiple products/services to customers. The organizations (really the market) figure out which products/services/features best suite the customers needs and the most useful/valuable/beneficial product wins out. The kicker here is Dell EMC is already starting out with the best, most comprehensive set of products/features from which to choose from, so what will eventually distill out of that is an even better experience for the customer. Again, this type of internal competition and culling happens every single day in every business. It is called capitalism and survival of the fittest and by definition the best solution wins out.

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