Analysts have said there is considerable overlap between EqualLogic's target audience and Compellent, as both cater mostly to midmarket companies. However, Compellent does provide Fibre Channel-based networking, a widely used enterprise standard, while EqualLogic provides only iSCSI connectivity.
Although Compellent is "in a slightly different place" compared to 3Par, it has had "very good success against 3Par, and also covers the midrange even more effectively," Anderson said.
He noted that Compellent has been "doing many of the same things as EqualLogic in terms of virtualization and automated tiering." It will take multiple product generations but eventually many of Compellent's technologies will be extended across the broader portfolio, he said.
Compellent has 2,500 customers and 490 employees, and logged about $125 million in revenue during 2009. It has sold its products entirely through channel partners. That program will be maintained and improved, but Dell has also signed a reseller agreement with Compellent to sell its products directly.
The agreement is meant to help Dell sales teams learn about Compellent's products and spread the word to customers prior to the deal's closing, Johnson said.
Meanwhile, Dell's move to buy Compellent is expected to put a damper on its partnership with EMC. Under that agreement, Dell sells EMC's high-end Symmetrix product as well as the midrange CLARiiON line.
EMC and Dell have been in discussions, and will "continue to support those [joint] customers as they want to be supported," Anderson said.
While Compellent will give Dell a solid hand in the storage market, it will remain open to additional acquisitions, executives said.
Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at email@example.com.