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Under fire from IBM and EMC

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Storage vendors, during the fourth quarter, enjoyed their most successful run since the economic downturn started, as both revenue and shipments increased, according to IDC.

Worldwide disk storage systems revenue jumped 8.4 per cent year-over-year to $3.7bn in Q4. This came on a whopping 52 per cent year-over-year rise in petabytes of storage sold. Storage vendors enjoyed the same recent success as the server crowd, posting their strongest results since the dreary days began in 2001.

What region is leading the comeback?

"The US was the first to feel the downturn and is now leading in the recovery with a healthy seven per cent growth rate," said John McArthur, group vice president of storage research at IDC. "Outside the US, much of the perceived growth is the result of a weakened dollar. However, we are at least seeing signs of stabilization, which is an improvement over past quarters."

HP still holds the lead in overall storage revenue, but rivals IBM and EMC are closing the gap. HP pulled in $1.4bn in the fourth quarter and saw its market share rise slightly to 25.6 per cent. IBM gained two points of market share to 25.4 per cent and sold $1.4bn worth of goods. EMC also gained more than one point of market share to 13.3 per cent and shipped $745 million in product.

Dell, Hitachi and Sun Microsystems rounded out the top vendors with $367 million, $287 million and $284 million in sales, respectively. Sun was the lone top vendor to see its revenue growth drop, as it brought in $313 million in last year's fourth quarter.

For the full year, the vendors combined to sell $13.2 billion in storage. IBM was by far the strongest performer with 13.4 percent revenue growth. Other vendors only posted low single-digit gains, and Sun's revenue dropped slightly.

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