Dell: No. 1 In Storage Capacity Shipped Despite Falling Storage Revenue


Dell EqualLogic Blade

Dell is bragging that it in the first quarter it became the largest storage vendor in terms of terabytes shipped.

This achievement, noted in a blog post by Dell storage executive Travis Vigil, comes despite the fact that Dell's overall storage revenue has declined for the past few quarters and despite the intense competition from pure-play storage vendors and from systems vendors that include storage in their servers.

For Dell, bragging rights in the storage business adds to the enterprise profile the company is trying to build as part of its ongoing bid to become a private company. That move is being driven as a way for Dell to reorganize as a provider of enterprise solutions away from the glare of the Wall Street investment community.

[Related: Dell Execs Behind The Scenes: We Can't Flip-Flop On Strategy]

The storage coup follows Dell's closing in on Hewlett-Packard as the top server vendor in terms of numbers of servers shipped.

Vigil, an executive director at Dell responsible for Dell's storage business, wrote in a recent blog post that his company was the "[No.] 1 supplier of enterprise storage systems capacity (internal and external combined) in Q113," based on IDC's first-quarter 2013 Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker.

That same IDC Tracker also listed Dell as the largest shipper of enterprise direct-attach storage (DAS) technology for the quarter, Vigil wrote.

"This latest ranking demonstrates Dell's ability to successfully offer customers both traditional external arrays and, as storage continues to move closer to the compute node, internal storage from our server business. This is becoming increasingly important as technology advances and the IT industry evolves into one that appreciates a solutions approach to data center needs," he wrote.

It's a pretty amazing revelation, said Paul Clifford, president of Davenport Group, a St. Paul-based solution provider and longtime Dell storage partner.

"The acceptance of Dell storage from our customers has been phenomenal," Clifford said. "We just had a significant win with a large customer in the central U.S. They were looking at HP and Cisco blades, and we were there talking to them about backups. But after talking to them, they realized the value of a Dell solution, including Dell server, networking and storage working together."

NEXT: Dell Storage Revenue Vs. Capacity Trends