EMC + DG: The NAS factor
In announcing EMC`s intention to acquire Data General, EMC chief executive Mike Ruettgers alluded to opportunities in network-attached storage (NAS), saying that the acquisition "could accelerate our formal entry into the NAS market." EMC has for some time sold a NAS product called Celerra, but has not marketed it heavily. "Using some Clariion technology would allow us to move into broader markets in the first part of next year," Ruettgers said.
EMC officials declined to elaborate, but some analysts see the NAS angle as a hidden jewel in the acquisition. "It may turn out that the overarching reason for EMC acquiring DG was for NAS technology in the mid-range," says Robert Gray, research director, storage, at International Data Corp., a market research firm in Framingham, MA.
Noting EMC`s growing success with Celerra, and the fact that EMC is running up against Network Appliance more frequently, Gray says that "EMC has discovered NAS, and the gloves are off."
The NAS technology would presumably come from Data General`s Aviion division, which uses non-uniform memory access (NUMA) technology in its servers. NUMA is particularly well-suited for executing similar requests in parallel, which could prove useful in NAS server designs.
Under the terms of the proposed EMC-DG acquisition, which is a stock pooling-of-interests transaction, EMC is prohibited from divesting the Aviion division--or any other part of Data General--for two years. EMC officials have stated that they will operate the Aviion division as a separate business unit.