EMC's £1.4bn purchase of Isilon could turn out to be a successful move if the storage firm uses the acquired technology to complement its own portfolio, according to analysts, although doubts remain given its previous failures.
The companies seem to be a good fit, and Isilon can deliver a boost to EMC's cloud offerings, said Clive Longbottom, service director of business process analysis at Quocirca.
"[EMC's] low-end Clariion line leaves a big gap up to the Symmetrix line, and neither is particularly good for scale-out storage, an area where EMC needs to play if it is to remain important as the cloud grows," he said.
"As long as EMC messages Isilon correctly and positions it in the right area against its existing products, this could be a good acquisition."
However, Longbottom remained sceptical about EMC's ability to make the best of the acquisition.
"Previous acquisitions [by EMC], all of which have made great sense, have not been brought to fruition in the way expected. EMC could end up with a confused portfolio of products where prospects and customers alike struggle to know what they should be purchasing."
Rene Millman, a senior research analyst at Gartner, agreed that the purchase will plug a gap in EMC's portfolio and will help the firm to stay competitive.
"The products offered by Isilon will go down well with customers in rich media, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas industries and others that need to handle large amounts of data," he said.
"Isilon now has EMC's customer base to offer its storage products to, so it has a bigger marketplace that it would have by itself. If Isilon products are popular with the EMC customer, it will be perceived as value for money."
EMC was not competing at the high end of the market for NAS or file-level storage devices, added Tim Stammers, a senior analyst at Ovum, but with Isilon under its belt, it can now play in this space.
However, Stammers warned that it is difficult to judge whether the acquisition represents value for money.
"EMC paid a very hefty price for Isilon. But Isilon is operating in a market that is growing fast and is very likely to continue to grow for some years yet. And Isilon itself is growing very fast," he said.
"There are no other acquisition targets in this sector that are as successful and proven as Isilon."
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