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GCC external storage market buoyant: IDC

MEA stagnates on North African sales slump

GCC external storage market buoyant: IDC
The external storage market in the UAE recorded 17% growth, with increased demand evident across various sectors.

The external storage market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew only 2% in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest data from International Data Corporation (IDC).

Referencing its EMEA Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, the research firm today announced that external storage revenue in MEA expanded slightly year on year in Q1 to total $233m, with terabyte capacity rising some 32% over the same period.

''The modest growth can be attributed to consistent business typical of the first quarter of the year in MEA," says senior research analyst Swapna Subramani with IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

"In the coming quarters, however, strong uptake of external storage systems in MEA is expected owing to large-scale deployments and projects across verticals."

GCC countries excluding the UAE and Saudi Arabia posted growth of 83% in the external storage market in the first quarter of the year, with Bahrain and Qatar registering triple-digit growth, bolstered by projects in the government and finance vertical markets, respectively. Saudi Arabia's storage market expanded 32% year on year in 1Q13.

"This impressive growth was driven by several projects in the kingdom's telecommunications and government sectors," said Subramani.

The external storage market in the UAE recorded 17% growth, with increased demand evident across various sectors.

North Africa (specifically, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) experienced a continued slump in external storage shipments in Q1 as a result of political unrest and spiraling inflation. The South African storage market declined markedly (16%), year on year, in the first quarter of 2013 due to a decline in projects for Dell and IBM. Egypt's external storage market grew significantly owing to projects in the telecommunications and government sectors.

''We remain bullish on the African storage market considering the relatively small installed base and sporadic nature of large-scale enterprise projects.'' Subramani stated.

From a protocol perspective, ESCON/FICON posted tremendous year-on-year growth, driven by IBM projects in the government sector. Telecom industry investments continued to drive growth for the NAS protocol, while Fibre Channel protocol retained its leading position with the same market share as 2012Q1.

Among MEA vendors, EMC continued its dominance in the region, grabbing over 45% share of the total disk storage market due on sizeable projects in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Egypt. Netapp secured second place, with just over 11.5% market share in spite of flat year-on-year revenue. IBM and HP followed closely, with approximately 11% market share each. Hitachi emerged as the bright spot among vendors, achieving triple-digit growth, driven by projects in South Africa and Turkey.

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