Posted by: Beth Pariseau
Strategic storage vendors
As a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) earnings and revenue numbers often get lost in its parent company’s extensive reports. But HDS execs strutted their financial stuff for press at the BD Event in Boston Tuesday, saying fiscal 2008 financial results show HDS taking market share from EMC, especially in the high-end disk array market.
Eric-Jan Schmidt, vice president of corporate marketing, said HDS grew revenue 1% to $672.8 million year over year last quarter while other large storage vendors declined. Storage software grew “in the high double-digits” year over year, high-end storage systems in the single digits, and modular storage was flat year over year, according to Schmidt, who did not give specific numbers for those products.
Total HDS revenue for fiscal 2008 — which ended last quarter — increased 11% to $2.864 billion.
Schmidt said it was specifically EMC that HDS had taken market share from in 2008, citing an IDC study that showed HDS edging to just under 30% market share in high-end disk arrays in 2008 while EMC fell to just over 25%. Schmidt attributed the growth in sales in part to a sales reorganization in February 2008, when former Unisys vice president and general manager of sales and service Randy DeMont was promoted to executive vice president. (Schmidt left EMC, where he worked in the Centera product division, in September for HDS.)
Schmidt added that HDS has seen increased success with its USP-V virtualization controller and storage software in this economy because they can be used to repurpose existing third-party storage. He said 15% of the 12,600 USP and USP-Vs in production so far have third-party storage virtualized behind them.
However, while HDS had a few things to crow about, Hitachi Ltd. did not fare so well, posting a record $8.1 billion loss for the year. That’s not a Hitachi-specific record – that’s the biggest-ever annual loss by a Japanese manufacturer, according to a report by the Associated Press. According to another report released Tuesday morning on the Dow Jones news wires, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services cut Hitachi Ltd.’s (HIT) ratings to below-average credit quality.
In the meantime, HDS may have something up its sleeve for the Hitachi Content Archiving Platform (HCAP) product based on its acquisition of Archivas in 2007. “Our archive platform will morph into something different over the next year,” said Asim Zaheer, HDS vice president, product and competitive marketing.
HCAP is already touted by HDS as a unified repository for multiple federated sources of content. HCAP uses a hierarchical file system, making it different from object-based or content-addressable storage (CAS) products, like Caringo Inc.’s CAStor or EMC’s Atmos or Centera. However, given the “federation” aspect of HCAP (also a hot buzzword at this year’s EMC World in discussions of cloud storage), my guess would be a scale-out system for active unstructured content in addition to where HCAP is already positioned, in secondary storage archiving. Zaheer would neither confirm or deny my suspicions.