Dell to add Compellent's tiering technology to its storage

Dell ended up paying $800 million for Compellent

Dell today announced it has completed the acquisition of Compellent, and now plans to use the company's data tiering technology across its line of storage arrays.

Compellent had agreed to be acquired by Dell in December.

Dell said it paid $27.75 in cash for each share of Compellent, placing the a total equity value of of the deal at approximately $940 million. The aggregate purchase price is approximately $800 million.

Perhaps Complellet's most compelling intellectual property is its data tiering technology, which it calls Fluid Data. Like many of its competitors, such as EMC, Dell wants to offer its customers the ability to automatically migrate lesser used data to higher-capacity but slower performance SATA hard drives.

By implementing a "tiered" architecture on its arrays, the highest performing drives such as SAS or solid state disk can support a company's most critical data applications such relational databases.

Data tiering reduces the start-up costs for storage systems because it reduces the amount of high end disk needed. It also reduces cost of ownership because higher capacity disk or even tape is less costly to maintain.

"Compellent and Dell share the vision of helping enterprise and cloud customers optimize their storage investments. Compellent's Fluid Data architecture helps deliver the vision by allowing customers to keep the right data on the right storage at the right costs," said Phil Soran, president of Dell Compellent, in a statement.

"Our team is committed to helping Dell transform the data center with open, capable, and affordable solutions that allow customers to do more with their IT dollars," he added. Dell said Compellent's Fluid Data technology could reduce system cost by up to 80%, across its PowerVault line of products.

Dell sought to purchase Compellent after it lost a nasty bidding war with Hewlett-Packard for 3Par, which offers technology that's similar to Compellent's.

HP paid $2.4 billion for 3Par.

3Par's SANs have an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that offloads advanced functions, giving its systems higher performance and thus target a higher-end customer than Compellent.

Up to eight 3Par SANs can also be clustered together to offer petabytes of capacity. Compellent's software only allows two SANs to be clustered.

Dell said it also plans to leverage Compellent's channel offerings to create a top industry program through its partners and new initiatives. Dell said it plans to combine the best of both companies' channel deal registration programs, extend this new deal registration program to all partners, and introduce a program in which partners can grow customer relationship after selling a Dell storage product.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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