Dell Storage Strategy Shines, Focuses on Customer Success

While opinions these days are plentiful, I’d love to share some fact-based perspectives on our Dell Storage portfolio and strategy. These facts are backed by leading industry analyst firms, such as IDC, Gartner and ESG, and are echoed by customer feedback. You might already know about some of these. Others might surprise you.

Dell was the No. 1 vendor in total storage capacity shipped last year

As shared previously, Dell was the top vendor in total storage capacity shipped in 2014, according to IDC research data. Last year, our customers added capacity to existing technologies or acquired new ones to the tune of more than 10.8 exabytes of storage capacity. That’s No.1 in the industry, ahead of all of the other pure play storage vendors, and it includes both internal and external storage capacity.  Dell succeeds here with a winning combination of servers and storage.  With the growing trends of server-side flash, converged IT and the software-defined data center, the lines are blurring across these technologies. Dell is in a strong position to continue to take advantage this blurring trend. In fact, Dell grew more than any other single vendor Y/Y for Q4 in the Total Disk Storage Systems Market sales with 5.2% growth, according to IDC. Dell also jumped into the No. 3 position, ahead of IBM by $1M for the quarter, or for a statistical third place tie, according to the firm.

Dell Storage offers world-class TCO

Dell Storage offers some of the best TCO in the industry. Our arrays leverage advanced technologies across our SC and PS Series to offer you market-leading value. How do we provide this? Through innovative, all-inclusive and perpetual software licensing and intelligent data placement, we extend the lifecycle of our arrays, lowering costs while maintaining high performance. The analyst community tells the story better than we can. Check out more from IDC and ESG.

Dell’s breadth of portfolio combined with best-in-class technology is a win for our customers

We’re combining the best storage technology from across our portfolio with new products such as the Dell Storage SCv2000 Series. With this new, entry-class array series, we can offer a single stack architecture that spans applications from smaller to large enterprise workloads. Customers are looking to consolidate vendors and storage in their data centers. They seek to reduce both risk and OpEx, not increase it by adding new vendors.

We stand by our affordable, customer-centric, hybrid flash approach

The market is moving to flash and quickly. We like that, and we’re winning there, too. The only challenge with flash is the fact that it still costs more than spinning drives. Customers want to put as much data on flash as makes fiscal sense, and we help them with that strategy. Selling intelligent data placement software for many years has shown that 20% of most customers’ data is actually “hot.” The most common strategy is to keep that hot data in flash, and store the rest on more cost-effective spinning media. According to IDC’s latest research on worldwide hybrid array raw SSD capacity shipments (1H2014), Dell catapulted to the No. 2 position in hybrid flash array capacity sold, just a hair behind EMC. Why such fast growth? Because, despite what other one-trick ponies might say, not all data needs to be placed in flash—just a small amount. This is where Dell excels. For those that want all flash systems, we have that covered, too, at market-leading price for performance. The SC4020 all-flash array happens to be the fastest available under $75,000, according to published SPC-1 benchmarks.

We continue to invest in scale-out NAS

Dell continues to enhance our scale-out NAS, the Dell Fluid File System (or FluidFS), most recently making available our Version 4 release this April. As shared when announced, “By expanding the cluster from a single FS8600 appliance to four appliances, customers can expand performance linearly up to 494,000 max SPECsfs file OPS and 11.9 GB/sec throughput, which makes the FS8600 one of the most competitive price-per-performance scale-out NAS solutions available.” Our customers now also can manage large file sizes (up to 16TB) and increase file storage capacity on the fly, doubling our previous limit to up to 4 petabytes in a single namespace.

Our end-to-end technology combined with key partnerships and global support is unbeatable

Our industry is in a period of rapid transition. If the move to flash wasn’t disruptive enough, we also are seeing a dramatic shift to new architectures including software-defined storage and hyperconvergence. All of this is happening concurrently. About a year ago, Dell announced our Blue Thunder initiative to bring these new SSD technologies to market. We now offer the industry’s broadest portfolio based on partnerships and integrated solutions with leading vendors such as VMware, Microsoft, Nutanix, Nexenta and Red Hat. As previously stated, organizations are seeking to reduce risk in their data center through vendor consolidation. Dell is in a unique position to offer our award-winning PowerEdge server platforms in combination with storage technology to deliver these tested and validated, workload-driven solutions to the market. And we add to this value world-class, global service and support.

But don’t just take it from me

I also am happy to share examples of market success based on customer success. Their vote matters most to us. Looking at market data, here’s what customers are saying through fully independent research:

Based on these facts, we believe Dell Storage offers the best price for performance from any leading enterprise storage vendor. It’s been our mission, and, frankly, our ability, to redefine the economics of enterprise storage. We’ll continue to enhance our current offerings and announce new ones per customer demand at a fast clip. We’ll also stay focused on both traditional and new approaches to deploying storage and broader IT solutions. You can count on Dell to deliver the best solution for your workloads and unique environments. That goes for the technology we’re delivering today as well as a clear and thoughtful investment in future technologies to support your future growth.

Travis Vigil

About the Author: Travis Vigil

Travis Vigil is Senior Vice President leading Portfolio and Product Management for Dell’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG). He and his team are responsible for Dell’s Server, Storage, Data Protection, CI/HCI, Networking and Solutions businesses. He has over 20 years of Product Management, Marketing and Business Operations experience with technology companies including Intel and Dell. In previous roles at Dell, he served as Senior Vice President for Storage and Data Protection Product Management, and Senior Vice President for Business Operations focused on Dell’s Server, Storage and Networking Businesses. He has a B.S. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.