Worldwide external disk storage systems factory revenues fell 5.2 percent year-over-year to $5.6 billion during the first quarter of 2014, with weak high-end demand causing a drop in rates not seen since 2009, according to a report from IT research firm IDC.
EMC was the largest supplier, but experienced a year-over-year share loss during the quarter. The company captured 29.1 percent of the external disk storage revenue during the quarter, which was down from 30.2 percent the year prior.
IDC defines a disk storage system as a set of storage elements, including controllers, cables and (in some instances) host bus adapters, associated with three or more disks.
A system may be located outside of or within a server cabinet and the average cost of the disk storage systems does not include infrastructure storage hardware, the company noted.
EMC also maintained its leadership in the total open networked storage market with 31.5 percent revenue share, but lost share compared to the 33.4 percent the company generated in the first quarter of 2014.
NetApp took second place for market share with 15.1 percent of external revenue, up from 14.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
Technology giants Hewlett-Packard (HP), IBM and Hitachi finished the quarter in a statistical tie--when there is less than 1 percent difference in the revenue share of two or more vendors--for the third position with shares of 8.8 percent, 8.8 percent and 8.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Dell, which IDC lumped into the Others category in its report, landed statistically in sixth place, generating 7.3 percent of the revenue during the quarter.
"The poor results of the first quarter were driven by several factors, the most important of which was a 25 percent decline in high-end storage spending," Eric Sheppard, research director of storage at IDC, said in a statement. "Other important contributors to the market decline include the mainstream adoption of storage optimization technologies, a general trend towards keeping systems longer, economic uncertainty and the ability of customers to address capacity needs on a micro- and short-term basis through public cloud offerings."
Total disk storage systems capacity shipped was 9.9 exabytes, growing just 19.9 percent year-over-year, and for the quarter, the total (internal plus external) disk storage systems market generated $7.3 billion in revenue, representing a decrease of 6.9 percent from the prior year's first quarter and a steep decline of 17 percent compared to the seasonally stronger fourth quarter of 2013.
The total open networked disk storage market, which includes network attached storage (NAS) along with non-mainframe storage area network (SAN) dropped 3.9 percent year-over-year to $4.9 billion in revenue.
Following EMC, NetApp was the second largest supplier with 17.3 percent share, followed by HP with 8.9 percent, IBM with 8.6 percent and Hitachi 8.3 percent, all of whom statistically tied for third place.