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.