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By | Chris Mellor 8th February 2010 16:24

Dell snaps up crashed Exanet

How to turn $70m into $12m

Update Dell is buying failed clustered filer supplier Exanet for $12m.

Exanet slid into bankruptcy last month. At the time, Dell was rumoured to be interested in buying it. That deal is now being done and if it completes Dell will gain intellectual property and possibly a research and development centre in Israel.

A Dell statement said: "Dell has submitted an offer to purchase Exanet assets, primarily patents and other IP, with court approval through a Chapter 7 liquidation in Israel. The transaction has not yet been approved by the Israel court, so we won’t speculate on its completion or timing."

In its ten year working life Exanet consumed $70m or more funding so the $12m Dell is paying is a relative pittance for the investors who have lost a bundle.

Dell's intentions are unknown as the company has not yet issued any statement and neither has the defunct Exanet. We can obviously expect Dell to provide clustered filer product technology in the future though, something which it is currently lacking.

The fate awaiting Exanet staff outside the R & D facility is unknown. It seems likely they will lose their jobs.

Exanet had relationships with 3PAR and others; these are now in limbo and will presumably terminate.

The acquisition is likely to be bad news for existing clustered NAS suppliers such as Isilon and also BlueArc, who will hope that Dell uses the technology for the volume market and stays out of their high-end area. On the other hand Dell does have a high-performance computer (HPC) interest ... ®

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