Disk Array Sales Boom in Q4, Way Up for 2005
March 6, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The server market might have seen a revenue decline and a shipment rate slowing in the fourth quarter of 2005, but the external disk array market has, according to researcher IDC, continued to boom. Specifically, external array sales exploded by 17.9 percent to hit $4.7 billion. Overall disk sales, including internal arrays in servers, grew at a nice clip, too, up 13.1 percent to $6.8 billion. When you do the math, it implies that internal array sales were up only 3.6 percent to $2.1 billion. Amazingly, storage capacity shipped in the fourth quarter was up 54.6 percent to 653 petabytes.
“The external disk storage systems market growth continued to accelerate through the year,” said Brad Nisbet, program manager for IDC storage systems analysis unit in a statement accompanying the figures. “Data growth was one driver, but the availability of affordable systems that support multiple tiers of storage to address data protection, business continuity requirements, and online, active archives also contributed.”
For external arrays, EMC grew by 11.6 percent in the quarter, hitting $962 million in sales, followed by Hewlett-Packard with 12.4 percent growth and $838 million in sales. IBM came in as the number three external array seller, with an incredible 46.8 percent growth, thanks to its Power-based NAS and SAN lines, with $743 million in sales. Dell, mainly through its partnership with EMC (whereby Dell makes the low-end external arrays and gets to resell the EMC product line with its badges on it), saw continued rapid external array sales, with growth of 54.2 percent to $428 million in sales. Hitachi rounded out the top five vendors with $340 million in sales, up 5.6 percent, with all other vendors accounting for $1.35 billion in sales, up 8.9 percent.
Network-attached storage–by which IDC means NAS and iSCSI SAN units plus another category called open arrays–grew by 24.2 percent to $3.1 billion. iSCSI SAN arrays grew by 130 percent to $94 million in sales, and arrays costing between $50,000 and $150,000 grew the fastest, with over $1 billion in sales in the quarter.
For the full year, external disk array sales were up 12.1 percent to $16.25 billion, with EMC getting $3.36 billion in sales, up 10.2 percent; HP getting $2.97 billion, up 11.9 percent; IBM getting $2.21 billion, up 23.8 percent; Dell getting $1.36 billion, up 36.5 percent; and Hitachi getting $1.3 billion, up 4.3 percent. As you can see, growth accelerated in the disk market during the fourth quarter.