Dell Replaces Storage Chief After Consistent Revenue Decline

Darren Thomas, the man who ran Dell’s enterprise storage business for the last decade, has left the company to pursue new opportunities, according to a company spokeswoman.   And the newly vacated position already has two contenders:

“Darren Thomas has decided to pursue a new opportunity outside of Dell. … Alan Atkinson, vice president and general manager of Compellent, and Pete Korce, vice president and general manager, EqualLogic and NAS Storage Solutions, are leading Dell’s storage business at this time.”

Thomas, who is leaving the company in the same timeframe new hire Suresh Vaswani is taking over as president of Dell Services, led the milestone acquisitions of EqualLogic, Compellent, and Exanet. He talked about his history with the hardware giant in theCube earlier this year (video below), and has not been sitting idle since.

In October, Dell debuted the PowerVault MD3260 series direct-attached storage lineup. The SSD-powered machines feature a lot of automation, as well as a set of advanced data protection capabilities   including self-encrypting drivers and an Instant Secure Erase feature.

Before that, the vendor announced plans to collaborate with cloud startup Nirvanix in order to offer enterprise customers more economic storage options. Specifically, Dell is going after Amazon and Microsoft with new storage-as-a-service (STaaS) solutions that scale better and run cheaper than on-premise alternatives.

SiliconANGLE founder John Furrier recently shared his thoughts on the update, and stressed the significance of the partnership.  IBM entered a similar alliance with Nirvanix not long before Dell’s news crossed the wire.

Dell’s storage revenue has been declining for the past two years, but the company is investing a lot of resources to try and put more life into this portfolio. Getting the cloud into the mix is one tried and proven approach, but not any less imperative than the two other big trends in storage today it will have to address: big data and flash.