October 26, 2009 – In my last post I recapped the results of a channel survey conducted by Robert W. Baird & Co., concluding that the majority of resellers are optimistic about their revenue prospects in the fourth quarter. In fact, it was the most optimistic response since Baird’s Q2 2008 channel survey, indicating that a turnaround in IT spending is underway (see “VARs upbeat about Q4” ).
Baird analysts also surveyed resellers about the performance of vendors in a variety of areas. When asked which vendors were above plan, on plan or below plan, VMware topped the list, followed by NetApp, Cisco, Symantec and Hitachi. Among major vendors, IBM was ranked lowest, with many more VARs reporting that sales of IBM gear were below plan than above plan or on plan.
In terms of “channel friendliness,” LeftHand and NetApp led the pack, with CommVault, HP and Hitachi rounding out the top five. At the bottom of the list (although still posting scores of better than 5 out of a possible 10, were Isilon, IBM, EMC, and EqualLogic.
When asked which vendors’ products they would sell more of in 2010, VARs cited VMware, EMC, Cisco, NetApp and HP most often, with IBM in last place. (It was EMC’s strongest showing in this category since Baird’s Q3 2008 channel survey.)
When asked how they perceived various storage vendors in the next 3 to 6 months, Data Domain topped the list, followed by NetApp, EMC, LeftHand, CommVault and Hitachi. In negative territory (more VARs saying sales were declining vs. improving) were HP, Dell, IBM and Sun.
Baird analysts also asked VARs to rank vendors by specific technology. Here are the leaders in various categories, in decreasing order:
Fibre Channel SANs: EMC, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Compellent, NetApp
NAS: NetApp (by a long shot), EMC, HP, IBM
iSCSI SANs: NetApp, EqualLogic, LeftHand, HP, EMC, IBM
In one final note on the emerging technology front: Baird analysts queried VARs about end-user interest in FCoE, and 74% of the respondents indicated that there is “some interest, mostly evaluating;” 15% said that demand was “ramping moderately;” and 2% said that there was “strong demand” for FCoE.