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Tape's Tally Is Up

IBM reports a 19 percent increase in storage tape gear, while disk is flat

3:38 PM -- IBM reported storage growth of 6 percent during its second-quarter earnings call last night, a welcome change from last quarter's 9 percent decline. (See IBM Storage Earnings Up.) And guess which segment of storage grew the most? Tape.

Big Blue's tape revenues grew 19 percent, compared with disk-related revenues, which stayed flat as a pancake. Well, that's not quite accurate: Revenues in disk were up 2 percent, but adjusted for currency, they stayed flat. (As a Canadian resident working for an international outfit, I can attest to the need to adjust for currency, especially on expense reports!)

In dollar amounts, IBM's Systems and Technology segment, which sells the company's tape storage gear, posted $5.1 billion in revenue overall, about 21 percent of IBM's $23.9 billion overall quarterly revenue.

I don't know about you, but to me that's big bucks, and big growth, for a segment with technology that's supposed to be in the tank. Is IBM's tape story unique?

Quantum posted $119 million in tape automation revenues for its quarter ended in March 2007, compared with $79 million in the previous year's quarter. In contrast, HP cited tape declines when on May 16 that company reported $44.6 billion quarterly revenue in enterprise storage and servers, an 8 percent year-on-year increase.

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