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The partnership between Dell and Hopkinton’s data storage giant EMC has been merry. But there happy days may be behind them, a point made abundantly clear when a risk-averse Dell dished out $1.4 bil to grab its own data storage provider, Nashua’s EqualLogic.

ComputerWorld notes that not only did Dell sales represent 10 percent of EMC’s accounts receivable, but that Dell may be looking to compete directly against EMC in some data storage markets. Not a good chance at a no-fault divorce here:

Both EMC and Dell have said the EqualLogic deal won’t effect their partnership. That was expected. Last year, the two companies extended their parthership through 2011. And, what couple, except those beset by paparazzi, would willingly air their dirty laundry? But now that Dell has its own SMB storage supply, how much longer will it depend EMC? Only as long as it’s profitable to do so, and only time will tell how long that is. But EqualLogic will likely shorten the wait.

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