Execs: Dell/EMC Storage Pact Still Strong

Dell and EMC executives offered an update of their partnership for selling storage systems, highlighting research that shows second-quarter revenues for the collaborative effort grew 106 percent year-over-year.

Dell Storage General Manager Darren Thomas said his company’s external storage business, which consists of network-attached storage , direct-attached storage and tape, surged 68 percent year-over-year for the third quarter, ending Oct. 31.

Thomas, who came to Dell after a fling with a defunct startup and several years at Compaq, also said the Dell/EMC customer base has grown to more than 7,000 total customers since it started in October 2001.

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell and Hopkinton, Mass.’s EMC allied to combat tough competition from HP, IBM and Hitachi Data Systems while filling gaps in each other’s portfolios. Dell lacked the technological strength to make up ground while EMC, a known supplier to the high-end arena, had little traction with small and medium businesses.

Under the original agreement, Dell became the leading reseller of EMC’s CLARiiON line of enterprise storage systems. CLARiiON became Dell’s standard offering for storage area networks (SAN) and high-end network-attached storage (NAS) installations. The companies extended the partnership until 2008 this past June.

During the conference call, Thomas also cited figures from market research firm IDC, which found that the 106 percent growth rate of Dell/EMC revenues dwarfed the storage industry’s growth of 12 percent in the past year.

Thomas, who was joined by EMC platforms marketing vice president Chuck Hollis, said one of the features that makes Dell/EMC products so tempting for consumers is that Dell’s direct model is helping EMC find real estate for storage area network infrastructure among SMBs.

Thomas said that in addition to finding purchase in the ripe SMB market, Dell and EMC are finding deep penetration in other market segments as well, with more than 70 percent of their sales in health care, government and education.

Hollis meanwhile promised additional innovation down the road, including joint work on the creation of products that employ iSCSI and serial ATA technology.

“EMC and Dell are reshaping the mid-tier storage market,” Hollis said. “We are driving the adoption of lower cost from the high end to the lower end of the market.”

Hollis also stressed a continuation of the company’s foray into information lifecycle management (ILM), the central focus of which is cradle-to-grave data management. He also said it is likely customers will be offered pre-packaged ILM solutions from Dell/EMC in the first quarter of 2004, but refused to elaborate further.

Hollis also dismissed SMB storage products announced
by HP Monday, as price reductions to old products, contending that the features of the HP products don’t compare to like products from Dell/EMC.

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