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Dell Installs New Storage Boss

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) has confirmed the appointment of Darren Thomas, former president and CEO of defunct high-end NAS startup Zambeel, as VP and general manager of its storage group, as Byte and Switch reported earlier this month (see Zambeelian Refugee Heads to Dell).

Thomas, 52, will report to Jeff Clarke and John Medica, the two senior VPs who jointly oversee all of Dell's product lines. Russ Holt, who was previously in charge of Dell's storage group, will remain VP of enterprise engineering for servers and storage, according to Dell spokesman Bruce Anderson.

Before joining Zambeel in June 2001, Thomas was previously VP of advanced technology and business development for Compaq Computer's enterprise storage group. Zambeel had developed a high-end, distributed NAS system that competed with products from BlueArc Corp., EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), and Spinnaker Networks Inc. (see Zambeel Slams Windows Shut and Khosla's Back, Backing Stealth Startup).

In April 2003, Zambeel shut its doors after apparently landing just one paying customer: the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (see Zambeel Znuffed Out).

As VP of Dell's storage group, Thomas will deal with EMC on a regular basis, since Dell is the leading reseller of EMC's midrange Clariion storage systems. The two companies recently extended their pact through 2008 (see EMC, Dell Feel the Love).

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