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Light at the end of the tunnel for storage vendors

Third quarter numbers show rate of decline slowed compared with earlier in the year

Light at the end of the tunnel for storage vendors
Donna Taylor, storage analyst at Gartner, suggests the global storage market is picking up after improvements in sales during the third quarter.

Storage vendors have been assured there is "light at the end of the tunnel" after the external controller-based (ECB) disk storage market showed less of a decline in Q3 than the previous two quarters.

Worldwide revenues for the ECB storage market fell 7% year-on-year to US$3.9 billion last quarter, but research firm Gartner, which revealed the data, insists the scale of the drop is encouraging news for the market.  

"The year-over-year decline of 7% indicates that the economic downturn's impact on the disk array storage market is loosening its grip," suggested Donna Taylor, principal research analyst for Gartner's global storage quarterly statistics programme.

"The prior two quarters in 2009 showed declines in the double digits. This is good news for storage vendors, because it's the first sign of a light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

EMC continues to lead the global storage hardware sector, with twice the market share of its nearest competitor IBM. Both players saw their revenues contract 5% during the quarter, however.

HP currently ranks third, with 11% of the market, while Hitachi, Dell and NetApp occupy the remaining three of the top six positions, with less than 1% market share - or US10$m - separating them.

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