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IBM has lousy disk storage quarter

IDC report shows 22.7% revenue drop

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IDC's latest disk storage market tracker report fingers IBM as the big loser, dropping 22.7 per cent from Q4 last year compared to Q4 07 in total disk storage systems factory revenue.

Total external disk systems factory revenues declined 0.5 per cent year-on-year (y-on-y) to $5.3bn, while the total of all disk storage system's revenues dropped 5.9 per cent to $8.73Bn from Q4 07, influenced by falling server sales.

Within the networked disk market, Fibre Channel SAN revenues fell 3.2 per cent y-on-y as customers recoiled from higher prices compared to iSCSI SAN revenues, which grew an amazing 61.6 per cent from Q4 07 to Q4 08. Dell took the top spot with a 35.3 per cent revenue share, EMC being well behind with 16.8 per cent.

However, EMC led the FC SAN market with a 24.2 per cent revenue share. IBM was number two with 16.5 per cent.

The NAS market also grew, but at a lower rate of 8.6 per cent. EMC led this market too, with a 43.8 per cent revenue share, followed by NetApp with 24.1 per cent.

The overall networked disk market, comprising NAS plus both iSCSI and FC SANs, grew 2.2 per cent, so it was server-influenced direct-attach storage sales which led the overall disk storage market down by its near six per cent figure.

Vendor shares

Vendor shares in the total disk storage revenues market showed a marked and surprising fall in IBM's fortunes; its share fell four per cent to $1.31Bn in Q4 08, representing a 22.7 per cent fall in revenue, from $1.695 in Q4 07. HP was number one, with a 19.7 per cent share of £1.43Bn, down 1.5 per cent y-on-y.

EMC took the third spot with 3.4 per cent revenue growth, Dell was four with revenue down 3.2 per cent; Hitachi came fifth with a 4.2 per cent revenue rise while Sun was joint sixth with a 1.5 per cent revenue decline. NetApp was counted in with others in this table. Only EMC and HDS increased their revenues y-on-y.

Turning to supplier shares in the external disk storage factory revenues ranking, EMC led with a 23.3 per cent share and 3.4 per cent revenue growth to $1.24bn. IBM fared little better here, its second-ranked share of 15.7 per cent representing an actual 11.3 per cent fall in revenue to $838m.

HP took the number three slot with a 5.8 per cent revenue growth ($691m), followed by a ten per cent increase in revenue ($493m) cementing Dell's number four position. HDS revenues of $413m grew 3.5 per cent y-on-y and gave it a statistical equal number five market share slot to NetApp whose $275m revenues fell 5.4 per cent - not a good quarter for NetApp at all, and it was followed by restructuring and head count reductions.

Sun took the seventh slot with revenues of $275m, down a substantial 10.1 per cent y-on-y.

IDC states that there was a 27.3 per cent rise in disk storage petabytes shipped, up at 2,460 and indicating the degree of price erosion on a cost/GB basis.

Altogether not a quarter to treasure, except for EMC, Dell and Hitachi. All the other vendors declined in one way or another with IBM looking as if it needs a major injection of disk storage revenues in order to avoid being passed by HP in external disk storage systems and EMC in total disk storage systems factory revenues. Dell is on a relative roll while NetApp is somewhat in the dumps, falling behind HDS, at least with the compensatory thought that Sun is even further behind.

The IDC report, IDC's Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker, March 5, 2009, can be read here. ®

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