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FlexPod upsets VCE in converged storage block-building test - analysts

But Cisco wins either way

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There are reasons why Cisco's top bod John Chambers gets all the pay he does. One of them is that he has the two top stand-alone storage companies fighting each other to sell more of his UCS servers.

The companies sell Cisco gear by offering converged storage/server/networking systems. Vblock concocts the products in EMC (VCE)'s case, while FlexPod puts together converged system templates using NetApp's E-series arrays, amongst others.

Which is doing best? IDC says NetApp, according to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers.

IDC reckons the total converged systems market was worth $1.3bn in the second quarter of this year, up 50 per cent or so. It comprises two segments; Integrated Infrastructure Solutions (IISol - our abbreviation) and Integrated Infrastructure Systems (IISys).

IISol includes pre-integrated hardware and package software, being worth $539.4m in the second quarter, up 21 per cent year-on-year. Oracle's Exa-prefixed gear led in this category.

IISys uses general purpose hardware and was worth $775.7m in the second quarter, up an impressive 80 per cent.

In this segment IDC estimates FlexPod systems saw something like $203m in sales revenue during the second quarter, a 47 per cent rise from a year ago.

VCE, the Vblock-building venture owned by Cisco, EMC and VMware, had sales of $176m in the same quarter; 35 per cent higher than a year ago.

Rakers noted: "Other vendors behind EMC and NetApp were estimated to be HP’s Converged Infrastructure offerings and VSPEX (EMC’s open reference architecture solutions, noted to be led by Cisco and EMC, though we also highlight Brocade’s positioning with EMC), and then Dell’s Active Infrastructure and IBM’s Flex-series systems."

Therefore both Vblock and FlexPod revenues grew less than the market. It's only a single quarter snapshot and longer term numbers may show a different picture, but for now FlexPods could be flattening Vblocks.

Maybe EMC should go get itself some cheap OCP servers, get closer to Brocade, and engineer its own systems? ®

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