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Wheeling And Dealing

With the RSA conference on the West Coast competing with Storage Networking World in Orlando, Fla., this week, there are just a couple of vendors big enough to straddle both realms. Any guesses? Both have figured prominently in the tech headlines in the last 48 hours.
With the RSA conference on the West Coast competing with Storage Networking World in Orlando, Fla., this week, there are just a couple of vendors big enough to straddle both realms. Any guesses? Both have figured prominently in the tech headlines in the last 48 hours.The two behemoths are EMC (which legally owns RSA and virtually owns SNW), and Cisco Systems. The two vendors actually got the ball rolling yesterday with a deal they did together to integrate EMC/RSA's data loss prevention (DLP) products with Cisco security tools. The emerging suite is supposed to improve enterprises' ability to identify sensitive data traversing the network, and set and enforce policies for the network and the endpoints. The new partners also made it clear there's other stuff on the table they're not ready to talk about yet.

Acquisitions are also in the air. Cisco snapped up the remaining 20% of Nuova Systems, its Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCOE) subsidiary, while unveiling the Nexus 5000 FCOE unified fabric switch. That helped explain the flood of FCOE e-mails in my in-box late this afternoon from Brocade and others.

EMC's also been out shopping. Working with a bit of stealth, EMC bought Wysdm late last week for an undisclosed sum. The move wasn't unexpected, given the close relationship between the two and Wysdm's reseller status with Hopkinton.

Another EMC deal that got sealed late today was the acquisition of Iomega for $213 million. Recall Iomega had sent EMC packing a few weeks ago when the valuation only came to $178 million.

It's a clear sign of the times when big IT vendors can do deals like this -- all while acquiring, competing, and cooperating. Cisco and EMC aren't the first to do it, just the latest. But their ability to straddle markets and geography is noteworthy. We'll see how severely this latest round of deals tests their equilibrium.