Sun Gets Big Traction in Storage Market

Sun moves ahead of such international competitors as Hitachi Data Systems and Fujitsu and into fifth place on the world chart with $494 million in sales (7 percent of the market). Sun recorded a 29.2 percent year-over-year increase in factory revenue for the second quarter, far outperforming the overall market.

Sun Microsystems is starting to show some real traction in selling its new Open Storage systems. And not a moment too soon, because Sun has had its difficulties lately.

In IDC's Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker released Sept. 5, Sun moved ahead of such international competitors as Hitachi Data Systems and Fujitsu and into fifth place on the world chart with $494 million in sales, or 7 percent of the market.
Sun recorded a 29.2 percent year-over-year increase in factory revenue for the second quarter, far outperforming the overall market. Worldwide external disk storage systems factory revenues for Q2 were up 10.9 percent year-over-year to $6.9 billion.
Sun Microsystems' strategy is to keep increasing the number of its open-source-oriented, OpenSolaris/Zettabyte File System storage offerings, and this is helping fuel enterprise interest. In July, Sun added to its self-styled "open storage" portfolio by launching a new line of storage arrays for the midmarket and a new high-performance addition to its Sun Fire X4500 "Thumper" storage server.

The various editions-Sun Storage J4200, J4400 and J4500-are differentiated by varying raw capacities and designed for midrange to enterprise users.
Overall revenue leader Hewlett Packard ($1.25 billion in quarterly sales) owns 20.3 percent of the market but lost some ground, dropping a full 1.2 percent market share in the quarter. No. 2 IBM, with 19.1 percent ($1.23 billion), is gaining quickly with a 2.6 percent increase in the last three months.
EMC, which is No. 1 in the external disk revenue category and has led that segment for several years, is No. 3 with 14.7 percent ($1.1 billion) in overall storage sales. EMC does not produce internally installed disk storage, however.
No. 4 Dell reported sales of $694 million, or an even 10 percent market share.
Worldwide external disk storage systems factory revenues posted a healthy 16.7 percent year-over-year growth, totaling $5.1 billion in the quarter. Total disk storage systems capacity shipped reach 1,777 petabytes, growing 43.7 percent year over year.
"Despite concerns about a 2008 slowdown in IT spending, external disk storage systems spending experienced strong growth in the first half of 2008," said Natalya Yezhkova, research manager, Storage Systems at IDC said in a statement.
"The second quarter of the year was remarkable, not only because it is the highest growth in two years, but also because of the distribution of this growth across different market segments. The ability of vendors to meet a variety of needs among customers with a diversity of storage products and initiatives led to solid growth across all installation environments, even in those that declined over the past several quarters."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...