Disk Array Sales Keep Revving in Q3, Says IDC
December 4, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The server market saw a tiny uptick in sales in the third quarter of 2006, but the external disk array market saw a much more pronounced increase, according to research by IDC. The storing of new kinds of rich content as well as server consolidation is driving up capacity sold and revenues, said IDC.
In the third quarter, sales of all kinds of disk storage systems (both internal to servers and externally attached) increased by 7.9 percent to $6.2 billion, IDC reckons. External disk array sales–which means machines that attach to servers through Fibre Channel, Ethernet, or other kinds of links–rose by 9.9 percent to $4.3 billion. This was the 14th consecutive quarter of external disk array revenue increased on a year-on-year basis. When you do the math that means that sales of internal disk array sales increased by only 3.6 percent to $1.9 billion. Customers bought a combined 783 petabytes of disk array capacity worldwide during the quarter, across all types of units and including both internal and external arrays.
“There was a marked increase in average size and selling price for disk storage systems in the third quarter, particularly for systems selling between $50,000 and $300,000,” explained Brad Nisbet, program manager with IDC’s storage systems research unit. “IDC believes these larger systems are being fueled by a variety of drivers, including the consolidation that results from increased server virtualization, branch office consolidation, and a new wave of organizations looking to store vast amounts of fixed content.”
In the overall storage array market, Hewlett-Packard continued to dominate, with $1.4 billion in sales, up 4.7 percent but barely outgrowing the market. IBM came in second, with $1.25 billion in sales, up 7.2 percent, followed by EMC with $927 million in sales, up 18 percent, and Dell, with $507 million in sales, up 5 percent. Hitachi, which resells midrange and high-end disk arrays to Sun Microsystems and HP, came in fifth with $348 million in its own direct sales, up 4.8 percent. Sun did not rate moving out of the Others category, which accounted for $1.75 billion in sales, up 7.7 percent.
Looking just at external SAN and NAS array sales, EMC’s $927 million in sales gave it the top spot, which the company has held for many years, followed by HP, with $760 million in sales, up a meager 1.8 percent. IBM continues to get traction with its DS series of Power-based arrays, with external array sales up 14.3 percent to $591 million. Dell, which sells a line of external arrays that are co-developed with EMC, had $347 million in external array sales in the third quarter, up 7.7 percent, while Hitachi grew external disk array sales by 5.1 percent to $340 million. All of the other vendors in the external array category accounted for $1.36 billion in sales, up $9.6 billion.