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Storage revenues slip sliding away

Dell and Hitachi shares on the up

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IDC has told us what we already suspected - storage spending is down. It's also revealing that some storage market leaders are losing market share to Dell and Hitachi.

The report, IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker for the first quarter of 2009, shows an 18.2 per cent decline in total disk storage systems revenue to $5.6bn from a year ago. Within that the external disk storage systems portion declined 13.6 per cent to $4.2bn

These declines are accelerated compared to the last quarter of 2008. Then total external disk systems revenues declined just 0.5 percent year-on-year to $5.3bn, while the total disk storage system's revenues dropped 5.9 percent to $87.3bn from Q4 07, influenced by falling server sales. We're in double digit declines now, with IDC again pointing to poor server sales as a main reason for this.

Even though revenues declined the total capacity shipped rose 14.8 percent to 2.146PB. IDC found that there was a move to lower price products and Liz Conner, its Storage Systems research analyst, said: "Entry-level price bands ($0K - $14.99K) showed 9.9 percent year-over-year growth and the midrange price band ($15K – $49.99K) was flat year over year... With customer spending trending towards more modular, price point options. In addition, the high-end price band ($300K-499.99K) saw a 14.5 per cent year-over-year growth as vendors discounted their very high-end products."

In the external disk systems market EMC led with a 20.7 per cent revenue share at $871m, but this was down from a year ago when it had a 21.3 per cent share. HP and IBM tied for second place with 11.5 and 11.3 per cent, both also down year-over-year from 12.3 and 11.5 percent respectively. Dell and Hitachi shared fourth place (9.8 and 9.4 percent) both up year on year from 9.2 and 8.9 per cent. NetApp was fifth with an unchanged share of 8.9 per cent.

IDC states: "In the Open SAN market, which declined 14.3 percent year over year, EMC lead with 21.9 percent revenue share. The NAS market declined 6.7 per cent year over year, led by EMC with 39.0 per cent revenue share and followed by NetApp with 28.7 percent share."

It reports that iSCSI sales, a relatively small segment of the market, did well, posting 40.5 percent revenue growth. Natalya Yezhkova, IDC's Storage Systems research manager, said: "Price sensitivity was a big factor in the healthy growth of iSCSI SAN, the only installation environment segment that ended the quarter in positive territory."

Dell led the iSCSI market with a 36.4 percent revenue share, followed by EMC with 15.8 per cent. In the last quarter of 2008 iSCSI SAN grew a stronger 61.6 per cent year-on-year and, again, Dell took the top spot with a 35.3 per cent revenue share, EMC being second with 16.8 per cent. With this cementing of its lead we can see Dell has done very well with EqualLogic.

HP led the total disk storage systems market ($975m, 17.4 per cent) with EMC second (15.5 per cent). EMC's share rose from 15.1 per cent a year ago while HP's fell from 19.1 per cent. IBM in third place also showed a decline, from 15.1 per cent to 14.4 percent. Dell is in fourth place at 11.7 percent, up from 11.6 per cent. Hitachi also did well in this segment, with a rise from 6.5 to 7.3 per cent. NetApp in fifth place showed the same pattern, up from 6.3 to 6.6 per cent.

Dell is doing a lot better relatively than everyone else. Hitachi is having a good quarter and NetApp is also doing quite well, while HP and IBM are losing revenue market share. EMC's picture is mixed. It lost share in the total external disk storage systems market but gained it in the total disk storage systems market, presumably as more direct-attached storage capacity moved into the external storage category. ®

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