As vendors such as Cisco, Dell, HP and IBM plough headlong into the data centre like runaway trains, the industry is seeing a growing number of bidding wars for storage networking companies.
And naturally this dynamic market attracts plenty of speculation over which domino might fall next...
The Eye of Sauron is currently fixed on EMC, with conflicting reports suggesting that either Cisco or Oracle might be the one to fork out the estimated $50bn it could take to acquire the company.
MicroScope has been covering the sad saga of Sun Microsystems and Oracle's frankly bizarre treatment of its server business for some time.
Furthermore, EMC has a chequered history when it comes to the channel, and now that it is making concerted efforts to play nicely with the reseller community, we can categorically say that the last thing it needs is to be bought by Oracle.
But the logic of a tie-up between Cisco and EMC is, in our opinion, far more compelling. Cisco first attacked the data centre market two years ago with the launch of its UCS blade servers, and adding some high-end storage capabilities to its offering would go down well.
The two companies have a good technological fit; Cisco's strength in core network infrastructure and EMC's storage heavy portfolio would result in little portfolio overlap.
Moreover, it already has a substantial relationship with EMC through the VCE joint venture, which is ramping up its exposure to the channel.
The deck is clearly stacked in Cisco's favour. If there is a deal for EMC in the offing, this one clearly makes sense.
This was first published in March 2011