Certainly we will discuss the details of the announcement in this blog. However, in my opinion, it is becoming crystal clear that Compellent is poised to start taking on bigger and broader enterprise storage challenges and opportunities. Feature enhancements such as broader connectivity support, SAS drive support, Live Volume software for disaster recovery, non-disruptive system software upgrades, and virtual machine movement technologies for use with VMware vMotion and Microsoft Live Migration bolster Compellent's capability and credibility in enterprise data center environments.
Further, Compellent's new capabilities within Enterprise Manager enable the company to provide enterprise environments with a single pane-of-glass management approach for real-time control of Live Volumes, use a simple vSphere 4.1 client plug-in for VMware to manage storage via the vSphere interface, use a "storage adapter" for Citrix StorageLink that enables administrators to create and recover storage for Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer environments, and integrates with Citrix StorageLink Site Recovery for simplified setup and configuration management of Hyper-V workloads via integration with array-based thin provisioning, snapshots and thin replication capabilities. That's truly a mouthful from a storage management perspective. However, it's all highly important from an enterprise management capabilities perspective.
Prior to the Nov. 22 announcement there was a lot of speculation brewing in the industry about Compellent possibly being the next target for acquisition by a server company looking to round out its storage offering. Frankly, the speculation has continued to increase, and with proven software-based capabilities now ready for prime time in the enterprise, it is my opinion that it may not be long at all before we see a server company recognize this and make its move.
Could Cisco, or Dell, be ready to move forward? The answer can only come from the server vendors. There are many variables for them to consider--not least is how would such a move affect existing relationships (Cisco/EMC) and how to position a storage acquisition with an already successful product line (Dell, EqualLogic). All things considered, it would not surprise me to hear over the holidays that one of these server vendors has recognized Compellent's success and has made an offer.