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Partnership pays off for Dell, EMC

Computer maker Dell and the data storage specialist celebrate two years of a partnership, saying they've helped customers install more than 7,000 storage systems.

Computer maker Dell and data storage specialist EMC celebrated two years of a partnership Monday, saying they've helped customers install more than 7,000 storage systems.

The companies have an alliance in which Dell resells some EMC products and manufactures a disk storage array called the Dell/EMC CX200.

Dell/EMC products are selling fast and playing a growing role in Dell's storage-related revenue, according to figures from research firm IDC. In 2002, Dell/EMC disk storage systems brought in $269 million, less than a quarter of Dell's $1.1 billion total revenue for disk storage systems hardware, according to IDC. However, in just the first half of this year, revenue from Dell/EMC products hit $307 million, about 45 percent of Dell's revenue of $676 million from disk storage hardware.

"So far, so good, and it keeps getting better and better," Chuck Hollis, EMC platforms marketing vice president, said in a conference call Monday.

IDC expects the overall disk storage systems market to rise less than 1 percent this year, to $21.2 billion.

IDC analyst John McArthur said the union of Dell and EMC has surpassed his expectations. He said the companies managed to overcome two obstacles: Dell had to learn to sell more complicated equipment, and EMC had to simplify its manufacturing process. "They met in the middle," McArthur said. "They got very good results."

McArthur said the Dell/EMC products compete against Hewlett-Packard in the growing low-end market for systems that take on tasks such as handling email servers. That segment of the market is made up of smaller businesses as well as units of larger corporations.

The Dell/EMC CX200 can hold up to 5.9 terabytes of data and can work in a storage area network (SAN). SANs are networks designed for more efficient use and easier management of data storage equipment. Dell also sells the Dell/EMC CX400 and CX600, which are higher-performance devices with larger capacities.