Volume 3, Number 33 -- September 7, 2006

Companies Continue to Consume Massive Amounts of Storage

Published: September 7, 2006

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

For a long time, the disk storage array market has been growing considerably faster than the server market that it is loosely coupled to, and that continues to be the case. While the server market has been showing signs of fatigue in recent quarters, not so the disk storage market.

According to the most recent statistics from IDC, in the second quarter of 2006 companies bought 704 petabytes of disk capacity, an increase of 51.5 percent over the amount of capacity that vendors shipped a year ago. External disk array sales grew by 8.5 percent to hit $4.2 billion, while the overall market (including internal disk arrays sold inside servers) grew by 6 percent to $5.9 billion.

Adding up sales for all types of disk arrays, Hewlett-Packard continues to be the market leader, with $1.4 billion in sales in the second quarter and a 24 percent share. HP grew sales at 9 percent in the quarter, which is considerably better than the 6 percent growth the market posted overall. IBM ranked second, with $1.1 billion in sales and 18.9 percent of the pie; Big Blue's disk sales declined 1 percent from last year. EMC held the number three spot, with $830 million in sales, up 3 percent, followed by Dell, with $488 million in sales (up 3.8 percent). Sun Microsystems had $391 million in total disk sales in the quarter, increasing by 13.4 percent thanks to its StorageTek acquisition, followed by Hitachi, with $340 million in sales, up 16.7 percent. All other vendors comprised $1.3 billion in sales, which works out to 22.4 percent share. And, surprisingly, the other vendors category grew sales by 7 percent, slightly beating the growth of the market overall, which was pulled down by IBM's decline and EMC's and Dell's comparatively weak performance in the market in the second quarter.

In the external array market, EMC and HP continue to slug it out during the second quarter. Ranked by revenues, they were in a statistical dead heat for the top spot. EMC had 20 percent of the revenue for external arrays, compared to HP with 19.3 percent. IBM came in third in this category, with 13.2 percent of the external array pie sales. Hitachi followed with 8 percent, Dell grabbed 7.8 percent (thanks mostly to its partnership with EMC), and Sun took home 7.1 percent.

IDC said that total network disk storage sales--which means network-attached storage (NAS) arrays built with either Ethernet or iSCSI connections as well as storage area network arrays based on Fibre Channel--grew 11.4 percent in the quarter to hit $2.8 billion in sales.

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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
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