Disk Array Sales Hold Up Better Than Servers, Says Gartner
December 14, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The server market may still be taking it on the chin, or in the gut depending on the platform, but the storage racket is doing better by comparison. According to statistics for the third quarter of 2009 put out by Gartner, sales of external controller-based disk arrays fell by only 7.3 percent, to $3.97 billion in the latest quarter.
“The year-over-year decline of 7.3 percent indicates that the economic downturn’s impact on the disk array storage market is loosening its grip,” said Donna Taylor, principal research analyst for Gartner’s global storage quarterly statistics program, who put out a table of data showing the winners and losers for Q3. “The prior two quarters in 2009 showed declines in the double digits. This is good news for storage vendors, because it’s the first sign of a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Head toward the light, I guess. Unless it is a train.
Anyway, EMC continued to rule the external disk array roost, with $1.06 billion in sales in the third quarter, down only 4.9 percent. IBM had a similar decline, of 5.1 percent, in sales, to $524.2 million. Hewlett-Packard declined nearly twice as fast as the market at large, with a 14.3 percent decline in disk array sales to $428.1 million. Hitachi also had a double-digit decline, down 16.5 percent to $349.8 million. If Hitachi doesn’t want out, Dell will soon be the number four disk array maker, since it only declined by 9.8 percent and posted $341.2 million in revenues in Q3. Network Appliances, which has been getting its NAS act together in recent quarters, had only a 1.1 percent revenue decline in the quarter, to $339.2 million, and it is quite possible that NetApp could blow by both Dell and Hitachi if the economy picks up. Sun Microsystems, which is wrestling with many issues these days on the product front thanks to the Oracle takeover, had a 23 percent decline in disk array sales in Q3, to $140.8 million.
Other vendors–and man, are there still lots of storage vendors–collectively had $785.1 million in revenues, down only a half percent. These upstarts and startups are holding their ground in a tough market. Whitebox server makers, by contrast, are getting hammered.