High Performance Computing Market Slides, Storage Software Rises

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-12-12

The worldwide storage software market increased 1.5 percent during the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter of 2012, with revenue during the quarter totaling $3.47 billion, according to a report from IT research firm IDC.

In a concurrent report, the firm found worldwide factory revenue for the high performance computing (HPC) technical server market declined sharply to $2.5 billion in the third quarter of 2013, down from a robust $3.4 billion in the same period of 2012.

EMC, IBM, and Symantec were the top ranking storage software vendors with 25.2 percent, 15.1 percent, and 14 percent share of the total market. Among the storage software market segments, data protection and recovery sales were up 5.3 percent year over year to $1.32 billion in revenues.

"Data protection and recovery software and storage & device management software were the two major sources of growth this quarter," Jingwen Li, research analyst with IDC's storage team, said in a statement. "Also of note is the fact that investments in storage replication software have fallen throughout the year as suppliers have increasingly bundled this capability within larger competitive deals."

Storage and device management software was up 3.7 percent year over year to $672 million. Meanwhile, storage replication software sales fell 3.6 percent year over year to $660 million. Finally, archiving sales were up 1.2 percent year over year, with $336 million in revenue for the quarter.

Back to the HPC market, the high-end supercomputers segment ($500,000 and up) accounted for 33.2 percent of the overall market in 3Q13, or $854.6 million, a sharp drop of 59.7 percent from the $2.1 billion in the third quarter of 2012.

The divisional segment ($250,000 to $499,000 price band) represented 13 percent of total HPC systems revenue, or $335.1 million, a 5.4 percent increase over the third quarter of 2012.

"The third-quarter results continued the trend IDC reported three months ago, when we noted that the top half of the HPC market, especially supercomputer systems sold for $500,000 and up, expanded rapidly right through the global economic recession and experienced record-setting growth in 2012," Earl Joseph, program vice president for HPC, said in a statement. "In 2012, several very large, one-time-only supercomputer sales drove that segment up by close to $1 billion."

Joseph noted IDC did not expect the supercomputers segment to repeat that performance in 2013, although there would likely be other growth periods in the future.

HP and IBM remained in close contention for worldwide market leadership by capturing 32.7 percent and 29.5 percent of overall revenue share, while Dell maintained its strong third-place position with 15.2 percent of global revenue.

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