Storage Sales Slump In 2001

Demand for data storage will shrink this year but will rebound quite nicely over the next three, according to a new report by market research firm IDC.

Demand for data storage is forecast to shrink this year but will rebound over the next three, according to a new report released Tuesday by market research firm International Data Corp.

But dont expect the form of storage devices to look the same in 2004 as they do now, the report indicates.

The worldwide market for disk storage hardware, software, and services shrank about 6 percent this year to $57 billion, but will grow to $70.6 billion in 2004, the IDC report said.

The tape storage and disk drive segments were not included in the report. However, IDC analyst Charlotte Rancourt said that if those were included the total worldwide storage market "could well be a $100 billion market" by 2005.

"IDC is not forecasting a steep hockey stick kind of thing... Its going to take the next three years to get the market in a position comparable to where it was in 1999," said Rancourt, in Framingham, Mass.

One wildcard clouding the forecasts is the proposed merger of Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp., Rancourt added.

Hard hit was the high-end external DAS (direct-attached storage) segment, which this year will post sales of $17.8 billion. Along with internal DAS this account for about two-thirds of all storage revenues. That compared with external DAS storage sales of $25.5 billion last year.

IDC forecast the market for direct-attached storage to grow to $29.6 billion in 2005, but that number also includes internal DAS. But by then, DAS will only account for 34.3 percent of the total storage technology pie.

Taking over some of that market share will be network-attached storage, also known as NAS. In 2001, NAS will account for a 7.5 percent slice of the storage market but will grow into a $5.6 billion, 19 percent slice, in 2005. Storage-area networks, or SANs, will swell from a 25.8 percent share of the market this year to a 46.7 percent share in 2005.

Most of the same companies are in all three spaces, the report noted.

Overall, Compaq in 2001 has the biggest combined internal and external disk systems revenue share with 18.2 percent of the worldwide market, on $4.4 billion in sales. The Houston-based company narrowly regaining the lead it lost to EMC Corp. in 2000.

EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass., has a 15.6 percent, $3.77 billion stake in the market in 2001, the report states. IBM is third at 14.2 percent, followed by HP (8.1), Sun Microsystems Inc. (6.5), Hitachi Ltd. (4.2), Dell Computer Corp. (4.0), Fujitsu (3.5), Hitachi Data Systems (3.0), NEC (2.2), NCR Corp. (1.6), and Fujitsu-Siemens (1.0).

The industrys top-tier players, like EMC, IBM, Compaq, HP, Sun, and Network Appliance Inc. are all in the top few spots in various subcategories. EMC saw its leading market share of the $17.7 billion external storage category fall more than 4 points to 21.2 percent in 2001 compared with 2000. Second-place Compaq jumped from 14.7 to 15.4 percent, IBM jumped from 7.8 to 12.2 percent, and the combined Hitachi Ltd. and its Hitachi Data Systems division jumped from 6.7 to 11.1 percent.

EMC also leads in NAS; its 2001 share of 42.3 percent accounted for $777 million of this years $1.84 billion market. That was up from 32.5 percent at $526 million last year. EMC swaps places with Network Appliances current 32.5 percent, $598 million share, which led with 45.4 percent and $735 million last year.

The SAN story is similar: EMC leads with a decreasing 37.9 percent, $2.37 billion share of the $6.25 billion market. IBMs share of the SAN market in 2001 is 18.2 percent, and Compaqs is 17.9 percent.

For end users to make sense of each companys current and expected claim-making, its important to consider individual needs, Rancourt said.

"What theyve done is taken subsets and slices of the market... and depending on how one puts value in [their] vantage point, then this is more important than that," she said.