Weak Server Sales Knock Data Storage Revenues Down 6%

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-03-06 Print this article Print

Researcher IDC says in its quarterly disk storage systems report that total disk storage systems market revenues were $7.3 billion, a decline of 5.9 percent from 2008, mainly because of weak sales in server systems. Hewlett-Packard, IBM and EMC remain the top three data storage vendors.

The worldwide recession, which has been crunching other sectors of IT for months, is finally beginning to crack into the data storage market.

Research company IDC revealed in its quarterly disk storage systems report March 6 that total disk storage systems market revenues declined 5.9 percent from 2008, totaling $7.3 billion. Weakness in server systems sales-not in storage arrays-was the main culprit, IDC said.

Despite the sales downturn, storage capacity shipped continues to grow at a substantial pace. IDC said total disk storage systems capacity shipped reached 2,460 petabytes, an increase of 27.3 percent over a year ago.

IDC also reported that worldwide external disk factory revenues posted a year-over-year decline of .5 percent, with revenues totaling $5.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008.

It was the first time in five years that IDC reported negative-growth numbers in either of those world storage markets.

In the total worldwide disk storage systems market, Hewlett-Packard led with 19.7 percent while IBM and EMC ended in a statistical tie for the second position, with 18.0 percent and 17.1 percent market share, respectively. EMC maintained its lead in the external disk storage systems market with 23.3 percent revenue share, followed by IBM with 15.7 percent and HP with 13.0 percent revenue share.

Dell ended the quarter in fourth place with 9.3 percent share. Hitachi and NetApp finished the quarter in a statistical tie for fifth with 7.8 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively.

Among the top five suppliers, Dell and HP posted the strongest year-over-year revenue growth during the fourth quarter of 2008, with 10.0 percent and 5.8 percent growth, respectively.

"Because of the global economic crisis, the last quarter of 2008 was tough for the disk storage systems market, resulting in a market decline from the same quarter last year," said IDC Storage Systems research manager Natalya Yezhkova.

"The negative impact, however, varied among market segments. For instance, high-end storage was impacted negatively by a freeze in end-user spending and longer purchasing cycles; but some low-end and midrange storage segments actually increased as end users broadened their search for storage solutions in these lower-cost segments to satisfy their increasing storage needs while optimizing investments in storage infrastructure," Yezhkova said.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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