2010 Was Year of Strong Storage Market Recovery: IDC

Sales of high-end storage systems ($250K or more) led the way in 2010 with 26 percent growth.

Along with most other businesses, the external disk data storage market was hit by some significant declines during the macroeconomic slowdown of 2008/2009, but 2010 was a year of strong recovery, according to a new factory revenue report released March 4 by IDC.

Global disk storage revenue posted year-over-year growth of 16.2 percent, totaling just under $6.1 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker.

The total disk storage systems market, which includes both internal and external disk storage, grew to $8.3 billion in revenues, resulting in 14.3 percent growth from the prior year.

"The fourth quarter of 2010 continued the trend of economic recovery and helped close a successful year for disk storage," said Liz Conner, IDC senior research analyst. "Aiding in the fourth-quarter gains, and all of 2010, was the continued growth of network storage, growing 21.7 percent from 4Q09 to 4Q10, and 25.7 percent from 2009 to 2010.

"Reduction in IT budget constraints has allowed users to take advantage of vertical and use-case-specific network storage products introduced in the past 12 to18 months," she said.

After significant declines during the 2009 crisis and the strong recovery in 2010, high-end systems' revenue share is now 30.2 percent, thus bouncing back to the 2008 pre-crisis levels, IDC said.

Capacity shipped continues to skyrocket. Total disk storage systems capacity sold reached 5,127 petabytes, a hefty 55.7 percent year-over-year growth.

High-End Systems Lead Sales Growth

"What is growing more than we expected is the high end [of the disk storage market]," Natalya Yezhkova, research director in IDC's Storage Systems program, told eWEEK. IDC considers "high end" to be storage systems appraised at $250,000 or more in value.

"This market is growing at 26 percent year over year. This is pretty decent growth, despite all those declines in 2009. The recovery we have seen in this market for 2010 was pretty remarkable," she said.

EMC maintained its lead in the external disk storage systems market with 26 percent revenue share in the fourth quarter-with IBM in second place and HP in third, with 16.3 percent and 11.6 percent market share, respectively.

NetApp ended the quarter in fourth at 10.3 percent. Hitachi and Dell were statistically tied for fifth with 8.7 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.

The open networked disk storage market (NAS combined with open/iSCSI SAN) grew 21.7 percent year over year in the fourth quarter to $5.1 billion in revenues. EMC continued its leadership here, with 29.7 percent revenue share, followed by IBM with a 15.2 percent.

In the open SAN market, which grew 15.1 percent year over year, EMC was the leading vendor, with 20.1 percent revenue share-followed by IBM in second and HP in third, with 19.0 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively.

The NAS market grew 41.3 percent year over year-led by EMC, with 52.8 percent revenue share-and followed by NetApp, with 23.7 percent.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...