HP, EMC Strengthen Leads in World Disk Storage Markets

According to an IDC report, EMC and IBM were the only two storage hardware suppliers with double-digit year-over-year growth in Q3.

IT infrastructure giants Hewlett-Packard and EMC continue to remain the two biggest sellers of hardware in the spinning disk storage industry, depending upon which category of disk is referenced.

In a third-quarter report released by IT researcher IDC on Dec. 1, HP leads the total worldwide disk (internal and external) storage systems market with 22.7 percent of all revenue share, followed by IBM with 20.2 percent. EMC is third with a 15.0 percent share.

However, when it comes to external disks, EMC is the clear leader in all categories.

The company, based in Hopkinton, Mass., which refreshed its entire storage product line during the last six months, saw some immediate payoff as it registered a 21.4 percent share in the external disk category, followed by HP with 17.6 percent.

In Q2, EMC and HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., had been in a virtual tie for the external disk lead at 20 percent and 19.3 percent respectively.

IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., maintained third with 13.7 percent market share, while Dell and Hitachi Data Systems rounded the top five in a statistical tie with 8.0 percent and 7.9 percent revenue share, respectively.

EMC also was first in market share in network disk storage systems, open SAN, and NAS systems, reported IDC, based in Framingham, Mass.

Among the top five vendors, EMC and IBM were the only two suppliers with double-digit year-over-year growth, IDC said.

"There was a marked increase in average size and selling price for disk storage systems in the third quarter, particularly for systems selling between $50,000 and $300,000," said Brad Nisbet, program manager with IDCs Storage Systems Program.

"IDC believes these larger systems are being fueled by a variety of drivers, including the consolidation that results from increased server virtualization, branch office consolidation, and a new wave of organizations looking to store vast amounts of fixed content."

Worldwide external disk storage systems factory revenues in the third quarter of 2006 grew 9.9 percent from a year ago to $4.3 billion, marking 14 consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth, IDC said.

For the quarter, the total disk storage systems market grew to $6.2 billion, up 7.9 percent from the prior years quarter. For the first time, total disk storage systems capacity shipped 783 petabytes, growing 50.2 percent from a year ago quarter.

Network disk storage systems post big YOY gain

The total network disk storage market (NAS Combined with Open SAN) posted 17.2 percent year-over-year growth in the first quarter to more than $3.0 billion, IDC reported.

EMC continues its leadership in the total network storage market with 27.1 percent revenue share (up .9 point from last quarter), followed by HP (17.9 percent) and IBM (12.5 percent).

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In the Open SAN market, which grew 17.3 percent year over year, EMC regained the No. 1 position with 24.4 percent revenue share, followed by HP with 21.0 percent. HP had led the pack last quarter, with 25 percent of the market.

The NAS market grew 16.7 percent year over year, led by EMC with 38.1 percent revenue share and followed by Network Appliance with 30.2 percent share.

The iSCSI SAN market continues to show strong momentum, posting 108.4 percent revenue growth compared to the prior years quarter. Network Appliance continues to lead the market with 21.5 percent share, followed by EMC with 16.9 percent share.

"After a slowdown in growth during the first two quarters of 2006, the iSCSI SAN market returned to triple-digit year-over-year growth in the third quarter," said Natalya Yezhkova, research manager in IDCs storage systems program.

Yezhkova added that iSCSI continues to draw a great deal of attention among end users who are attracted to its ease of use and low TCO (total cost of ownership).

"IDC expects to see this adoption accelerate as vendors continue to increase their iSCSI product offerings over the next several quarters."

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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...