Storage Acquisition Targets: The Channel Weighs In
Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing from the perspective of end users, further contraction in the storage industry is inevitable. This list of the top 10 storage acquisition candidates factors in the opinions of InfoStor readers, the majority of which are channel professionals VARs and integrators.
Following HP's $2.4 billion acquisition of 3PAR, speculation continues to run rampant over which storage vendors will be acquired next. Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing from the perspective of end users, further contraction in the industry is inevitable as the largest IT vendors attempt to control the entire IT stack and the pure-play storage vendors plug the gaps in their product lines in order to goose revenue growth.
For the following list of the Top 10 storage acquisition candidates, I factored in the opinions of InfoStor.com readers, which I received after posting "The Top 10 storage acquisitions of 2010." Interestingly, the majority of the reader responses came from channel professionals -- VARs and integrators -- leading me to believe that channel pros are much more interested in mergers and acquisitions than are end users. I also factored in opinions from industry and financial analysts. And topped it off with my own misguided opinions.
No. 1 Isilon
Isilon scooted to the top of this list because of two recent developments: (a) The company hired Qatalyst Partners to solicit potential acquisition offers. Qatalyst was the advisor to Data Domain when EMC acquired Data Domain, and Qatalyst also shepherded the HP-3PAR acquisition. (b) The NY Post reported on Friday that EMC may be close to acquiring Isilon for about $2 billion.
No. 2 CommVault
I don't understand why CommVault's (NSDQ: CLVT) stock jumped so high during the HP-Dell-3PAR bidding war, but it did. I guess it was because CommVault has been an acquisition speculation darling for years.
No. 3, No. 4 Compellent, Xiotech
Isilon, Compellent and Xiotech have all been cited often as potential Dell acquisitions post-3PAR/HP. I doubt it, because Isilon/Compellent/Xiotech are gap-pluggers rather than the game changer that 3PAR would have been for Dell. Isilon, Compellent or Xiotech don't give Dell the high-end array technology that would enable Dell to go up against EMC/IBM/Hitachi, although they would be good complements to Dell's EqualLogic line. On the other hand, any one of these disk array vendors would help Dell doff its "Dude, you're getting a Dell" image.
Given their technology differentiators, and the difficulty of being a relatively small player in the contracting disk array market, it's likely that one or both of these vendors will be acquired by someone.
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