HP Steals Top EMC Storage Exec

In a surprise move, HP names EMC storage division president David Donatelli its new EVP for enterprise servers, storage, and networking

April 29, 2009

3 Min Read
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Hewlett-Packard launched its counterattack against Cisco's move into the server market late Tuesday when it announced that David Donatelli, president of EMC's storage division, will join HP on May 5 as executive vice president for enterprise servers, storage, and networking. EMC named Frank M. Hauck, executive vice president for global marketing and customer quality, to head up its storage division and quickly removed Donatelli from the list of executives on the company's Website.

Cisco in March announced plans to expand its data center offerings and begin selling blade servers, putting it in competition with server partners like HP, Dell, and IBM. Cisco is partnering with storage vendors like EMC and NetApp to offer a full menu of data center infrastructure systems.

That move by Cisco set the stage for what industry analysts said would be a major battle among large infrastructure vendors looking to sell packages of servers, storage, and networking systems to large enterprises. The recent announcement by Oracle that it will buy Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion seems to add another competitor to the fray.

HP said Donatelli will report to Ann Livermore, executive vice president of the Technology Solutions Group at HP. At EMC, Donatelli reported to Joe Tucci, the company's chairman, president, and CEO. HP also said it was adding its ProCurve Networking business to Donatellis portfolio. Marius Haas, senior vice president and worldwide general manager of HP ProCurve, will report to Donatelli.

HP said in a statement, "As the future of computing moves toward converged platforms of servers, storage and networking, this combination accelerates the drive for efficiency and innovation, as well as increases the value customers receive from HP's infrastructure solutions."HP's enterprise storage and server business unit had revenues of $9.4 billion in fiscal 2008 and includes business-critical systems, industry-standard servers, infrastructure software, and blade servers.

This means Donatelli will be the lead executive overseeing HP's new BladeSystem Matrix, which is designed for virtualized data centers. HP earlier this month announced the new blade server system and storage gear that aims to turn computing, storage, and networking capacity into pools of virtual resources that can be allocated as needed to support applications and business processes. Along with the HP BladeSystem Matrix, the company unveiled the first new LeftHand storage since HP bought that company last year. The HP LeftHand P4000 SAN is available as a standalone iSCSI SAN product or within a virtualized blade server infrastructure in a bundle called HP StorageWorks SB40c with P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance Software.

The HP product launch came a month after Cisco entered the blade server market by announcing its plans for a Unified Computing System for virtualized data centers, and a week after EMC unveiled a Symmetrix V-Max storage system and new architecture, aimed at the same market. Cisco and EMC are working together to ensure their gear interoperates.

In his role at EMC, Donatelli had detailed knowledge of Cisco and EMC plans to work together to expand their presence in the enterprise data center, and he should be able to use that information to help HP gain ground against large and well financed competitors that have strong technology and a wide range of products.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of the challenges around enterprise storage. Download the report here (registration required).0

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