Asia/Pacific Region Bolsters Disk Array Sales in Q3
December 10, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The booming economies in the Asia/Pacific region are doing their part to help push up sales of external disk arrays, according to recent market statistics compiled by the analysts at Gartner, which just announced the stats for sales in the second quarter of 2007.
On a worldwide basis, sales of external disk arrays in the third quarter rose by 3.4 percent to $3.86 billion, essentially mirroring the 3.3 percent growth, to $3.7 billion, that the industry attained during the second quarter of the year. In the third quarter, growth was largest in the Asia/Pacific region, up 22.7 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, with sales particularly strong in India, Australia, Taiwan, and China. “Distributed growth is a positive indication of vendors’ commitment in the region,” explained Donna Taylor, principal analyst for Gartner’s global storage quarterly statistics program. “While each country is unique, vendors are better positioned to leverage existing relationships.” Gartner did not provide an absolute revenue number for the region or growth rates for other geographies (you have to pay to see that kind of data).
Even excluding OEM sales with Dell and Fujitsu-Siemens, EMC maintained its top position in the controller-based disk array market in Q3, with $996.1 million in sales, up 4.4 percent and giving EMC its 25.8 percent share of worldwide revenues in the quarter. IBM, though number two in the market, is a distant second, with only $564.8 million in external disk array sales, and only grew at 2 percent, slower than the overall market. The story was much the same for Hewlett-Packard, in the number three spot with $484.7 million in sales, up only 2.1 percent from the year-ago quarter. Hitachi‘s own disk array sales, which do not include substantial OEM sales it has through HP and Sun Microsystems, dropped by 7.5 percent to $372.5 million, dragging the market down. Dell’s disk array sales rocketed by 23.3 percent, more than offsetting the decline by Hitachi, hitting $335.6 million in sales and positioning Dell to permanently take the number four spot it Hitachi doesn’t turn itself around. Network Appliances, which is an innovator in network-attached storage, has seen sales cool in recent quarters, and in Q3 its sales rose in pace with the overall market by 3.4 percent to $281.6 million. Sun rounded out the top vendor list from Gartner, with $163 million in sales, plummeting 17.1 percent.
Other vendors make up the remaining $657.1 million in sales during the third quarter for external disk arrays, and as a group these vendors saw their sales rise by 8.9 percent. There is a lot of innovation going on with storage virtualization and thin provisioning, and a bunch of vendors are beginning to see traction. Which means the major storage vendors are positioning themselves to either buy them or to crush them with new technologies that dull their competitive edges.
Incidentally, none of these sales figures include storage software, which increasingly makes up the top line for storage sales and which has been the profit margin for many years.