Dell Shakes Up Storage Market

has made a number of announcements that include a very aggressively priced 2U enterprise-class array for $14k, almost half the competition’s price. The new offerings (available now); and (early Q3); and (June) – hold a lot of promise, but as always, the customers will determine the ultimate winners and losers.

So far, the customers are voting in Dell’s favor. According to the most recent IDC numbers, Dell (9%) was tied with IBM for third place in global enterprise storage spending, but turned in the best results – 5.2% – in terms of YoY growth. EMC took top spot with 22.2%, but only grew 3.3%; HP was second (13.8% and 4.8%, respectively), while both IBM and NetApp revenues shrank (-23.8% in Big Blue’s case).

Dell did not figure in IDC’s top five external disk storage system vendor revenues for Q4. EMC (32.9%, up 3.3%) was followed by IBM (11.7%, -7.2%), NetApp (10.7%, -3.5%), HP (9.6%, up 3.3%) and Hitachi (8.1%, up 3.5%).

This would underscore Dell’s focus on total storage — attached and server-based — which has enabled it to claim top spot in enterprise storage. Rather than just claiming bragging rights Alan Atkinson, VP and GM, Dell Storage, noted that the combination highlighted the blurring of the lines between and storage due to the emergence of converged infrastructure and software defined storage. “This latest ranking and rapid increase in our customer base demonstrate Dell’s ability to successfully offer customers both traditional external arrays and, as storage continues to move closer to the compute node, internal storage with our server business.”

Dell is also busy pushing its software-defined storage agenda (Blue Thunder). While nowhere near the size of disk or storage, SDS is expected to explode at a CAGR of 35.20% over the period 2015-2019.

“Dell has emerged as a global leader in software-defined storage solutions, based on its unique, broad and embracing approach to work closely with key storage software vendors to deliver robust, validated solutions on Dell hardware that’s backed by Dell global services and support,” said Scott Sinclair, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, in a prepared statement. “The Dell and Nutanix marriage is a win for both companies, and, ultimately, customers. Nutanix gains by partnering with a global leader with proven server technology and services, and Dell gains by being the only large vendor integrating its servers with Nutanix’s market leading hyperconverged software. Customers get the known quality and support of Dell plus Nutanix’s easily scaled and managed software for virtualized environments.”

According to a new story, it didn’t take very long for new and very attractively priced SCv2000 storage area network, starting at approximately $14,000 per array, to become an even better bargain. With competitive systems going for at least $25,000, Scv2000s were offered from Dell for as low as $8,800, although the price was subsequently increased to $12,669.

“At Dell, it’s been our mantra to be disruptive in the economics of storage,” Atkinson, during the Web conference announcing the new Dell products. We continue to redefine the economics of enterprise storage, offering customers of all sizes world class storage solutions that remove complexity, lower cost and deliver impressive long-term value, he noted, and the SCv2000 brings the proven performance and protection of our Dell SC Series arrays to an entry-level offering with best-in-class value at a very disruptive price.

Products – and pricing – like the Scv2000 should broaden Dell’s total addressable market, if not its margins. And given its stated commitment to flash for all markets, one could reasonably expect a better showing the next time – or perhaps the one after – Gartner reports on flash storage market share.

Author: Steve Wexler

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