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Dell the company is also ready to take on other storage vendors, even where there is no Dell infrastructure in place.
Soran, after touting the benefits of Compellent storage, cited a win for his company against storage from Hewlett-Packard at Heineken. "We displaced HP. . . .," he said.
Dell broke in, and said, "That's OK, you can run HP servers with Compellent."
"We try not to," Soran responded.
Dell even went so far as to say that his company was actually a storage company when it was first started.
In his dorm room at the University of Texas, Dell started his business making disk subsystems for IBM computers. "This was a booming business, particularly if you are a 19-year-old just starting out," he said.
However the business changed when one disk subsystem customer, Martin Marietta, called to order 150 of the disk subsystems, which was Dell's largest order to date, but wanted to visit the Dell office first. Dell said he and his colleagues cleaned up their "office," and he bought what he thought at the time was a suit.
When the Martin Marietta visitors arrived, they noticed a computer Dell had built specifically for testing the disk sub-systems, and asked if he sold them as well. "That's a good idea," Dell recalled saying.