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6/29/2005
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Dell, NetApp Increase External Controller-Based Storage Sales; Sun Slips

In the external controller-based storage race, Dell and Network Appliance are pulling ahead, while Sun is dragging.

In the external controller-based storage race, Dell and Network Appliance are pulling ahead while Sun Microsystems is dragging.

Worldwide external controller-based disk storage market revenue hit $3.5 billion in the first quarter of 2005, up 11.1 percent over the same period a year ago, according to research firm Gartner.

Of the top seven vendors, EMC kept pace with the overall market with a growth rate of 11.2 percent, giving it the top honors once again with sales in this space of $814.7 million.

EMC's biggest reseller, Dell, took the fifth spot with sales of $231.8 million. Dell's revenue grew 35.8 percent from the same quarter last year, giving it the fastest growth rate overall.

One of EMC's key rivals, Hitachi, and subsidiary Hitachi Data Systems, did fairly well for the quarter, with revenue up 9.6 percent over a year ago to hit $368.5 million, giving it fourth place. But, whereas EMC's sales through Dell are growing, two of Hitachi's key resellers, Hewlett-Packard and Sun, experienced a slowdown in sales of Hitachi's high-end storage arrays.

HP remained the No. 2 vendor with sales of $643.1 million, up 6.2 percent over the first quarter of 2004. Gartner said it was HP's first positive-growth quarter in more than a year and was a result of an increase in midmarket storage sales.

IBM ranked third, with sales of $421.1 million, up 13.6 percent. IBM's new DS8000 and DS6000 pushed the growth in sales, which was important to IBM given the product transition issues it experienced in the second half of last year, said Gartner.

NetApp was the No. 6 vendor, with sales of $211.7 million. This was up 27.2 percent over last year, making NetApp the second-fastest-growing vendor in this space, said Gartner.

Sun was the only vendor to see revenue slip from last year. It sold $175.9 million worth of external controller-based disk storage systems in the first quarter of this year, down 17.4 percent over last year. It saw both its high-end and its midrange sales slip, Gartner said.

In early June, Sun moved to beef up its midrange storage and its tape library sales with its proposed $4.1 billion acquisition of Storage Technology.

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