The Dell brand is one of the most recognizable in technology. It was born a hardware company in 1984 and deservedly rocketed to fame, but it has always been about the hardware. In 2009, its big Perot Systems acquisition marked the first real departure from this hardware heritage. While it made numerous software acquisitions, including some good ones like Scalent, Boomi, and KACE, it remains a marginal player in software. That is about to change.
In late 2010 I noted that startup SeaMicro had introduced an ultra-dense server using Intel Atom chips in an innovative fabric-based architecture that allowed them to factor out much of the power overhead from a large multi-CPU server ( http://blogs.forrester.com/richard_fichera/10-09-21-little_servers_big_applications_intel_developer_forum). Along with many observers, I noted that the original SeaMicro server was well-suited to many light-weight edge processing tasks, but that the system would not support more traditional compute-intensive tasks due to the performance of the Atom core. I was, however, quite taken with the basic architecture, which uses a proprietary high-speed (1.28 Tb/s) 3D mesh interconnect to allow the CPU cores to share network, BIOS and disk resources that are normally replicated on a per-server in conventional designs, with commensurate reductions in power and an increase in density.
Japan-based NTT Data recently took a step towards expanding its IT capabilities in India, acquiring a 74% stake in Netmagic Solutions. This marks another important event in the third-party datacenter services market in India. In early 2011, Tulip Telecom acquired a data center facility in Bengaluru at a value of approximately US$46 million. This year, with this deal, NTT Communications not only gets access to Netmagic’s seven Indian data centers, a platform offering public, private and hybrid cloud services, but also inherits the capability to address the fast-growing South Asia data center services market.
Netmagic’s acquisition has long been speculated. The firm has the right set of service offerings, technical capabilities, and local coverage, but it lacks the financial muscle power of its competitors (including Reliance Communications and Tata Communications). Netmagic would have had a tough road ahead in the Indian market without external help. So I believe that this acquisition also comes at the right time for Netmagic Solutions.
Here is a quick look at what this acquisition brings to both companies:
Stronger foothold in the Indian market with access to 1000-plus customers.
A critical piece for its Asia-focused cloud strategy and a step closer to its objective of having 20% of its total revenues outside of Japan in 2013.
Better servicing capabilities for NTT’s global accounts based out of India.
Financial muscle to compete in and penetrate further the India market.
Access to knowledge base and technology from NTT Data and its numerous IT subsidiaries.