Disk Array Sales Are Spinning Up, Says IDC
June 21, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In the past few weeks, it has become apparent that hardware, not software or services, is going to lead the recovery in IT spending this year. After having already cased the server racket for the first quarter, IDC has dutifully dissected the disk array market, and spending is rebounding.
On a global basis, spending on all kinds of disk arrays, be they tucked under the skins of a server or in a separate box linked to the server through Fibre Channel, iSCSI, converged Ethernet, InfiniBand, or other wires, rose by 18.8 percent, to $6.71 billion.
If you carve out external disk arrays, then sales for these storage devices accounted for $4.96 billion in sales, up 17.1 percent from the year ago quarter. Since the Great Recession began in earnest in mid-2008, sales of the internal disk arrays sold with servers by the server makers themselves was still relatively small portion of the market, but held up better than for external disks. And as the recovery gets a bit of momentum behind it, sales of servers are up and internal array sales are up even more sharply. In the first quarter, internal disk array sales rose by 23.8 percent, to $1.75 billion. Server revenues, according to IDC, rose by 4.7 percent to $10.42 billion, but server shipments were up 23.3 percent.
By vendor and across all disk types, EMC is still king of the storage hill, with $1.22 billion in revenues in Q1 and an impressive 37.6 percent growth. Hewlett-Packard ranked a very close second, with $1.21 billion in sales, but grew only 23.9 percent. (EMC and other vendors selling high-end disk arrays with de-duplication, storage tiering, or database hosting features did well on the rebound, and EMC is a midrange and high-end player, not an entry storage supplier.) IBM ranked third, with $955 million in sales (up 17.7 percent), followed by Dell with its $852 million (up 29 percent). NetApp wins the most-improved prize, with sales up like rocket at 47.4 percent, hitting $550 million in Q1. Other vendors accounted for $1.92 million, down 1 percent.