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Dell already has a substantial storage operation buttressed in large part by a partnership with EMC, which has supplied some 25% of Dell's storage offerings. The importance of storage was underscored Friday by a report from market researcher IDC, which said external data storage systems jumped 20% in the second quarter, indicating that the surge toward cloud computing is accelerating. According to the IDC report, Dell placed fifth in the external storage sweepstakes with 9.4% of the market. EMC held a substantial lead over its competitors with a 25.7% market share of total revenue with IBM recording a 13.6% market share. Next, in a statistical tie with 11%, were HP and NetApp.
3PAR, the object of a heated auction between HP and Dell, holds a 0.6% share of the market, according to IDC. "Although the first half of 2009 was extremely weak due to the economic crisis," said IDC analyst Liz Conner in a statement, "the gain from a relatively strong second half of 2009 shows continued customer investment and importance placed in the storage systems market."
Dell has been recovering from a series of accounting scandals and a victory in the competition for 3PAR would have been a sign it is recovering and committed to the IT services market. While the $72 million termination fee could help in another acquisition, the auction itself caused the stock prices of other small storage companies to rise.