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HP’s storage goals in 2004

Jan 20, 20042 mins
Data Center

* Snippets from HP's recent meeting with analysts

Last week I attended an analysts’ meeting with HP where the company laid out its plans for the coming year. Some of the information was discussed under non-disclosure agreements and so can’t be shared at this time, but much of what we talked about was intended for public dissemination. Here are some of the key points for those of us with an interest in storage.

First, where is HP now?  When it comes to storage market share, HP clearly has come out the better for its acquisition of Compaq.  IDC numbers show HP accounting for about 28% of storage revenue, followed by IBM (about 20%) and Sun (about 12%).  Dell and EMC collectively sell about 12%.  Bob Schultz, who runs HP’s networked storage business, may therefore be excused for smiling when he announced, “We ship more SANs than the next three vendors combined…” 

HP’s stated goals for storage in 2004 are straightforward. 

Look for the company to aggressively grow its HP-UX storage business, and to become increasingly aggressive in situations where it must compete against EMC.

Expect HP to go after the mid-range and small and midsize business markets with increased vigor, using its MSA30, MSA500 and MSA1000 arrays to carve out a larger slice of entry-level and mid-range segments.

With Microsoft now actively backing NAS, look for a ramp-up in the sales of Windows-based NAS boxes.

Also, look for an increased push to provide services to HP storage customers.  Many of these services will be delivered through the channel.

Additionally, HP continues to see both the support of industry standards (SMI-S in particular) and virtualization technology as key enablers of its storage plans.  No big surprises there.  Also, information lifecycle management (ILM) is expected to drive an increasingly large part of storage revenue.  Predictably, this is expected to occur in the financial services, healthcare and life sciences markets.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about what I thought was the most interesting of the new products discussed.  It was mentioned only briefly during the presentations, but certainly took just about everyone by surprise when it was described.  All I can share at this point is that it is likely to have interesting implications for many of you who will be investing in array-based storage later this year, so please stay tuned. 

I’ll look at some of these topics in a bit more depth next time.