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Dell, in a survey it did with IDC, found that Compellent storage systems have an average productive life span of 6.9 years, compared with 3.5 years for other storage systems, Fine said. That is due to the fact that Compellent was designed to be upgraded with new technology rather than replaced as new technology becomes available, which means customers are adding capacity over several years to existing storage systems.
"Customers are staying with their Compellent solutions longer, and adding more capacity to existing systems," he said. "It's easier for customers to add capacity to existing systems than to buy new systems. It shows up in these kind of reports as increased overall capacity."
Fine is not kidding when he talks about how capacity upgrades to Dell's Compellent storage systems can have a big impact on its overall storage capacity shipped, Davenport's Clifford said.
"In the last two years, our biggest business has been Dell storage add-ons, including selling extra hardware without new license costs," he said. "We have a number of customers who have had their Compellent systems for seven, eight and nine years. We're not selling them new licenses. Just new hardware."