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HBA market share shenanigans

Emulex and QLogic claim gains over each other

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Both Emulex and QLogic are claiming HBA market revenue share gains, and citing the same Dell'Oro report to do so.

QLogic cites Dell'Oro to say it gained revenue market share over Emulex in the first half of this year, while Emulex said it gained slightly more than three points of revenue market share over QLogic in the second quarter of this year. So both companies are right.

Why both companies feel the need to claim such things is a mystery. It's more understandable in Emulex's case though; it has to justify itself after making rosy-tinted growth projections while fighting off the unwanted Broadcom bid. It also just missed out on being included in NetApp's FCoE love-in, which featured Brocade and QLogic CNAs but not Emulex ones.

What Emulex is actually claiming is that it "has captured over three percentage points of revenue over its nearest competitor in the total Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter (HBA) market during the second quarter of 2009." This is based on figures in the Dell'Oro Group's Q2 2009 SAN Report.

Emulex goes on to say that the report shows it "has gained cumulative market share over the last nine months."

Wow. Take that QLogic, you loser. And it's not us saying so, it's Dell'Oro.

In response, QLogic said: "it completed the first half of 2009 with an expanded market share lead in storage area network (SAN) Fibre Channel adapters, according to the latest data published by the Dell'Oro Group." What?

QLogic provides some numbers from the report: "For the first half of calendar year 2009, QLogic increased its revenue share for Fibre Channel adapters to 55.2 per cent, an improvement of 1.9 percentage points over the full year 2008 share. During the same time period, QLogic's nearest competitor (Emulex) in Fibre Channel adapters dropped its share below 38 per cent."

So, QLogic had a leading 53.3 per cent of the HBA market in 2008 and, at the end of Q2 this year has grown its share to 55.2 percent; that's clear enough. Emulex says it currently has a 38 per cent share and that meant it captured over three percentage points of revenue over QLogic in the quarter (is growing faster than QLogic) and has gained cumulative market share over the last nine months. Obviously, then, it has not gained cumulative market share over the last twelve months.

To add a degree of extra grandstanding to this circus, Emulex says it gained share in the 4GBit/s HBA market in the second quarter whilst QLogic says it gained share in the 8Gbit/s HBA sector that same quarter. Neither say they lost share in the segment the other gained share in. Well, of course not.

These two companies are eagerly duking it out head-to-head in the HBA and emerging CNA market, and are desperately keen to score points off each other. For now it seems that QLogic is the leader in revenue market share terms, while Emulex might be clawing back a little bit of that lead. Unfortunately they are gaining by selling more older 4Gbit/s HBAs than newer 8Gbit/s ones, where QLogic has an advantage. ®

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