Disk Array Revenues and Capacity March On, Unabated
March 14, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
You’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to LUNs. Well, in the case of the OS/400 and i platform, auxiliary storage pools, but that doesn’t scan well.
According to the people who count bits and bytes and boxes at IDC, companies consumed a staggering 5,127 petabytes of disk storage in the fourth quarter, up 55.7 percent from the year-ago period. Revenues only grew by 14.3 percent to $8.3 billion in the quarter, kept in check by competition and Moore’s Law. But just barely.
Those figures include both internal and external disk arrays. External disk array sales accounted for $6.1 billion in revenues, up 16.2 percent in the quarter.
IBM sold a total of $1.53 billion in disks, by IDC’s reckoning, with $996 million coming from XIV and DS series external arrays and the remaining $532 million coming from internal arrays that are sold with entry and midrange Power Systems running OS/400 and i operating systems. IBM’s external disk array sales are growing faster than internal array sales, at least when reckoned by revenue.
Thanks to its acquisitions of 3Par and H3C, Hewlett-Packard has regained the top spot in overall disk array revenue sales, a place it held when it did the Compaq acquisition a decade ago but gradually lost out to EMC. HP pushed $1.587 billion in total arrays in the fourth quarter, up 10.2 percent from a year ago, just barely edging out EMC by $5 million. But EMC is growing at 26.3 percent, and it is a question of whether or not HP can hold its slim lead in 2011. Dell has alienated its former partner, EMC, but is growing nonetheless with its own and acquired storage, hitting $902 million in revenues in Q4, up 8.7 percent. NetApp is growing like gangbusters, with sales up 43.7 percent in the quarter to $630 million, but without a captive server base of its own, it has to take on IBM, HP, and Dell in their own accounts, contend with giant EMC, and fight off newbies attacking from below.
For the full year, IDC says that companies paid $28.7 billion for storage, an increase of 18 percent over 2009’s levels.