Storage market bidding to battle back

Latest figures highlight challenges facing market in 2010

Tags: EMC CorporationHewlett-Packard CompanyHitachiIBM Middle EastNetApp
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Storage market bidding to battle back
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By  Andrew Seymour Published  April 16, 2010 Channel Middle East Logo

The worldwide external controller-based (ECB) disk storage sector suffered a 2.5% drop in value during the fourth quarter, ending any hopes that the market had of avoiding an annual decline in revenues for the first time since 2002.

The performance meant the ECB disk storage market saw almost US$2 billion wiped off its value last year as sales fell from US$18 billion to US$16.3 billion year-on-year, according to research from Gartner. All regions encountered a reduction in sales, with EMEA, Japan and Latin America the worst hit.

Roger Cox, research VP at Gartner, says the large monolithic/frame-based disk array market — which declined 21% last year — represented less than 30% of the market for the first time since Gartner has been reporting on the business. “This result, in part, reflects the advancements that the lower-cost modular disk array systems have made in performance and capacity scalability, as well as robust data services associated with local and remote replication,” he said.

EMC retained the top spot in 2009 with 25% market share — despite its revenues declining by almost 9% — largely due to its leadership in several key areas of the market, including block access modular disk arrays and special-purpose disk archiving storage systems. On top of that, the US-based giant was boosted by the acquisition of Data Domain.

Runner-up IBM was one of the big winners during the year as it added another percent to its market share on the back of a resurgence in its DS5000/3000 series in Q4. The result saw it put even more daylight between itself and HP, which suffered a 17.5% year-on-year slide in annual revenues to US$1.7 billion.

Reflecting the benefits of its unified storage architecture and the tight integration of SnapManager with leading ISV software, NetApp, meanwhile, took over the fifth spot from Dell in Q4. Its solid showing also led it to close the gap on Dell to 0.2% annually.

On a technology basis, the network-attached storage segment increased 1.4% in 2009 as it profited from a rise in unstructured data and file sharing, but for other areas of the market there was less to shout about. The block-access modular ECB disk storage segment declined 2.8%, while revenues attached to special purpose disk archiving systems plummeted 32%.

Raw terabyte shipments increased 39% in 2009 and the price per terabyte decreased 34%, which Gartner insists was well within historic trends.

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