Post by Roger W.Cox, Pushan Rinnen, Stanley Zaffos, Jimmie Chang (Thank you)
This Magic Quadrant represents vendors that sell into the end-user market with branded midrange and high-end modular disk array storage systems that support block-access protocols. Despite rather gloomy macroeconomic conditions worldwide and ongoing geopolitical unrest in the Middle East, the midrange and high-end modular disk array storage market grew 8.2% from 3Q10 through 2Q11, compared with the same period the year before. Propelled by technological innovation and enhanced scalability, this continued growth in vendor revenue supports the observation that IT executives are willing to invest in modern midrange and high-end modular disk storage systems to improve operational efficiency, to support deployments of virtualized IT infrastructures, and to address the impact of unabated terabyte growth.
The midrange and high-end modular disk array market is fragmented. End users have many alternative vendors from which to choose. The 2011 Magic Quadrant for Midrange and High-End Modular Disk Arrays includes 15 vendors. However, there are many other vendors that have yet to meet the qualification criteria to be included in this Magic Quadrant. The period-over-period vendor revenue change for the eight vendors is included in the Gartner “Quarterly Statistics: Disk Array Storage, All Regions, 2Q11 Update” report along with the size of the market served by smaller vendors.
Reflecting the importance of midrange and high-end modular disk storage, this segment of the external controller-based (ECB) disk storage market experienced a very high rate of M&A activity and product introductions since the last Magic Quadrant was published in November 2010. HP bought 3PAR; Dell acquired Compellent; and Oracle purchased Pillar Data. In addition, IBM launched its Storwize V7000 and EMC announced its much-anticipated VNX family. All of these actions materially improved the competitive position of these companies. 3PAR is now HP’s lead midrange to high-end modular disk storage system, replacing the position previously held by the aged EVA. Dell has positioned the Compellent Storage Center platform as its center piece offering, displacing the co-branded Dell:EMC CLARiiON CX4 series. Oracle has made the Pillar Axiom 600 its premium block-access midrange and high-end modular disk storage system offering. IBM is addressing new midrange and high-end modular disk storage opportunities with the Storwize V7000 and the XIV Gen3 Storage System, and the EMC VNX series replaces the market-leading CLARiiON/Celerra products.
The acquisitions by Dell, HP and Oracle, as well as the release of the IBM Storwize V7000, are changing relationships between vendors that were once considered to be mutually strategic. The most-significant relationship change was the severance of the OEM agreement between Dell and EMC, initially signed in late 2001. Even though IBM and Oracle have signaled that they will continue to sell block-access DS5000 and Sun Storage 6000 series, respectively sourced from NetApp, they no longer hold a premier position as an IBM or Oracle offering; Gartner is already observing a decline in period-over-period revenue. It is clear that vendors such as Dell, HP, IBM and Oracle, which have large and global distribution organizations, prefer to own their own ECB disk storage IP rather than sourcing it from a competing or enabling vendor.
Beyond the above-referenced acquisitions and new midrange and high-end modular disk storage system releases, vendors continue to enhance their offerings from a technological perspective. Several systems now incorporate innovative functions such as thin provisioning, automated sub- logical unit number (LUN) data tiering, controller-based data reduction, solid-state drives (SSDs), Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives, disk drive spin down, reservationless snap copies and high-density storage enclosures, all of which collectively or individually enhance efficiency and total cost of ownership (TCO). Vendors lacking these capabilities are working to bring them to market or are pursuing a segment of the midrange and high-end modular disk array market where the lack of these features does not reflect a competitive disadvantage. In summary, to the benefit of the end user, vendor competitiveness in the midrange and high-end modular disk array market is stronger than ever.
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