One-Two Punch Drives Midrange Storage Momentum

When Dell and EMC merged, our leadership team made an important decision about our midrange portfolio to bring the best products from both companies together, raising some questions in the industry about overlap and rationalization. There was skepticism about which products might see end of life and whether buyers might be stranded.

two men boxing

Let me be very clear about the future direction of our midrange portfolio – we are fully committed to our entire midrange product family including Dell EMC Unity and the Dell EMC SC Series. Each product solves different customer problems and is suited for different environments. Customers can buy both Dell EMC Unity and SC Series today and with continued confidence in the future.

We feel the best path is to offer customers choice in price, performance and features suitable for small-to-medium businesses to large enterprise customers. Here we stand just nine months later and the market has spoken. After bringing forward both the Dell EMC Unity and Dell EMC SC Series midrange storage platforms, our decision to keep both product lines has been validated – Dell EMC grew worldwide external midrange storage revenues 32.8 percent sequentially which resulted in a sequential revenue share gain of 1.5 points (from a 29.2 percent share in Q3CY16 to 30.7 percent in Q4CY16.)[i].

Dell EMC Unity generated a high double-digit quarter-over-quarter revenue increase from Q316 to Q416 and SC Series revenue also grew by double digits from Q316-Q416. This all reflects on another positive trend for the Dell EMC midrange storage portfolio – we saw a substantial increase in total customers for Dell EMC Unity and SC Series from Q316-Q416.[ii]

dell emc unity sc series storage

We’d like to think that validation of this strategy translates into the kind of success our customers are experiencing with Dell EMC Unity, our best-in-class midrange all-flash offering and SC Series, our best-in-class hybrid storage for the midrange. Both Dell EMC Unity and SC Series are essential in this strategy. Customers are choosing these solutions to help modernize their data centers and simplify the way in which business data is managed while reducing TCO of the IT assets that power the business.

Here are a few recent customer examples that prove this out:

Dell EMC Unity:

The Society of Swedish Literature (SLS) in Finland, established in 1885, is the eldest non-profit in Finland and wanted to create a modern IT infrastructure that would support the organization’s work and protect SLS’ digitized cultural treasuries, while also being flexible, easy to deploy and use. In the end, SLS chose a Unity system optimized for simplicity and all-flash performance.

According to Madsen Wikholm, IT manager for SLS, “The [Dell EMC] Unity user interface seems like a godsend, or close to it.”

The SLS realized the benefits of their Dell EMC Unity system including:

  • Performance improvements of their front-line storage
  • Simplified IT management through an HTML5 interface and VMware integration
  • Support for multiple protocols (block, file, and vVols) streamlining their storage footprint

Dell EMC SC Series:

The Oregon Judicial Department, the judicial branch for the State of Oregon is another customer that has had recent success with our midrange storage products. The Oregon Judicial Department Server Team for years had struggled with modernizing and unifying their aging SAN and NAS systems in its data center. Their struggles included multiple SAN vendors, isolated backend protocols and a lack of capability across the SAN architecture to provide reliable application performance. According to Peter Diec, Lead Server Administrator for the Enterprise Technology Services Division for the Oregon Judicial Department, “Our ultimate objective for our next generation SAN architecture was performance, uniformity and simplicity.” They chose the SC Series 8000, 2060 and the FS8600 to deliver the consistent performance needed to power its VMware, Microsoft SQL Server, CommVault Enterprise Backup and other related business applications. The result of its data center upgrade enabled the Oregon Judicial Department to create uniformity across multiple environments and helped reduce IT man-hours spent managing storage by consolidating to a single storage solution.

The key to the success of both these products has been our ability to address a wide variety of customer needs through continuous innovation and in ensuring customers see immediate and tangible benefits when deploying Dell EMC storage products in their environment. We recently upped the ante on this promise with a new storage efficiency guarantee for Dell EMC midrange customers who opt for all-flash configurations.

The All-Flash Storage Efficiency Guarantee is a new program guaranteeing customers who purchase Dell EMC XtremIO, VMAX All Flash, Dell EMC Unity and SC Series all-flash array configurations with an effective logical storage capacity at least four times (4:1) the physical capacity of the drives purchased in their new array – leveraging our powerful efficiency features that are native to our systems. The end result is that customers are able to squeeze more valuable data into less space with less management effort, while aggressively reducing start-up and lifecycle costs.

With market share momentum and more new customers coming on-board, the combined Dell EMC midrange storage business has hit its stride. And with Dell EMC World 2017 not far away, we’re looking forward to showing off BOTH of our leading midrange storage products to all of our valued customers, partners, media and analysts in Las Vegas. Also be prepared to see many new surprises we will be introducing into our market-leading midrange portfolio. You asked, and we are delivering! Look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

[i] IDC Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker – Q4 2016, March 3, 2017

[ii] From Dell EMC internal figures

Top image via Creative Commons by Mike Lizzi.

About the Author: Craig Bernero

Craig Bernero is the Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Midrange and Entry Storage Solutions Product Group responsible for delivering next generation, current generation, and legacy storage technologies. He manages a global organization of 2000+ strong globally accountable for Dell EMC’s Midrange and Entry Storage technologies that are the #1 in the market. These technologies and brands include Unity, Compellent (SC), VNX, VNXe, Equalogic, CloudIQ. DSM. Unisphere, and Cloud Tiering Appliance. Craig has over 20+ years of experience in high technology, the last 15+ with Dell EMC Corporation in a variety of leadership roles including pre-sales, operations, business development, services, and manufacturing. Craig has experience working in startups, small/medium rapid growth and Global 500 companies across a wide range of industries (Aerospace, Manufacturing, Services, Software, etc.). He also has global experience and is multi-lingual based on living in 10+ countries prior to settling in the US. Craig graduated with an MBA with dual specialization in International Management and Entrepreneurship & Innovation from Northeastern University, and a Bachelor in Science, in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University.