EMC and VCE leaders have taken to their personal blogs to answer industry onlookers' speculation that Cisco's recent acquisition of flash vendor Whiptail will step on its storage partners' toes.
Earlier this week, the networking giant announced its intention to snap up the all-flash storage vendor for $415m (£262.58m), sparking industry speculation that the move could be viewed suspiciously by long-standing storage partners such as EMC and NetApp.
EMC's senior vice president for global systems engineering Chad Sakac and Jeremiah Dooley, a member of the CTO's office at VMware, Cisco and EMC joint project VCE took to their blogs to analyse the move and bat off the claims.
Both Sakac and Dooley stressed that their blogs represented their personal opinions and not those of their employers.
EMC's Sakac admitted on his blog that he expected some analysts to jump to the conclusion that Cisco's Whiptail buy would see it compete with its partners by entering the broader storage market, but said taking a more reflective view is wiser.
"I think Cisco wants (as they state in their release and the blog) to leverage the disruption of flash and some of the Whiptail IP to try to leapfrog their competitors in the server and networking space," he said on his blog.
"Perhaps over longer time periods, this of course could be disruptive to the industry (unless others get there first or in different ways).
"Against that backdrop, Cisco and EMC are great partners. This manifests itself thousands of times every day in... our joint customers, partnership and go-to-market with our distributors and channel partners.
"Of course, I think it would be disingenuous to suggest that there is no interesting stuff in the speculation people will make around [the] news."
At the time of the announcement, Sam Routledge, solutions director of reseller and Whiptail partner Softcat, said he could see the buy making EMC and NetApp nervous, but that from his perspective as a reseller, working with fewer vendors makes life easier.
VCE man Dooley said Whiptail customers might take a different view, however.
"If I'm a Whiptail customer today, while I'm happy for the people, I might be a little mad at the stated direction that Cisco is taking," he said on his blog.
"Yesterday, I had a partnership with a company that offered both hardware and software, and today I see that they are being bought as a software layer for a server manufacturer. Maybe Cisco will continue to sell the appliances for a while, heck, maybe customers will even continue to buy them, but the Whiptail that people invested in is no longer."
UK storage distribution start-up Channelfusion's founder Bruce Hockin said that despite the speculation about what the Whiptail buy means for Cisco technology partners, the consequences for the flash market are positive.
"It can only be a good thing because it validates the relevance of flash as a legitimate enterprise proposition, and it goes to demonstrate the value as a compute as well as a storage technology – it really widens its value," he said.
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