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NetApp loses ground again in IDC's Storage Tracker

Third quarter repetition

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NetApp has lost ground for the second quarter in succession, Dell is pretty flat and HP growing steadily. These are the headlines from IDC's quarterly storage tracker for external disk storage.

The tracker looks at worldwide external dusk storage systems factory revenue and IDC ranks suppliers, giving them tied positions if there is a less than 1 per cent difference between their factory revenues. IDC rankings:

  • EMC gets the top spot (28.6 per cent with $1,649m);
  • IBM and NetApp tied for second position (IBM: 12.7 per cent and $735m, NetApp: 12.1 per cent and $700m);
  • HP is in fourth spot (11.3 per cent and $651m);
  • Hitachi is fifth (8.8 per cent, $414m);
  • Dell is equal fifth (8.0 per cent, $459m);
  • and the "others" category accounted for 18.5 per cent and $1,069m.

If we graph the supplier revenue share percentages over the past three quarters, this is what we see:

IDC Storage tracker External Q3 11

IDC Storage Tracker Q1-Q3, 2011- External Systems

  • EMC is comfortably top of the tree.
  • IBM seems to be trending down.
  • NetApp is trending down. It has reported a disappointing couple of quarter's results.
  • HP is trending up steadily.
  • Hitachi is down a tad overall.
  • Dell is down slightly. (It was in the "others" category in the first quarter having a less than 7.5 per cent share.)
  • The "others" category shrank significantly in the first quarter and clawed back some lost ground in the third quarter.

If these trends continue – which is a big "if" – then HP will overtake NetApp, possibly next quarter but most likely the one after that. NetApp fingered nine major accounts as the main cause of its recent quarter's poor results and it will be pumped up to reverse that trend.

Equally HP is regaining its va-va-voom under Meg Whitman's CEO reign and could gain ground strongly on the back of an energetically integrated and run storage operation. HP storage supremo David Scott could be excused for thinking NetApp is there for the over-taking.

Total disk storage

If we look at IDC's tracking of the total disk market factory systems revenue, the category including direct-attached storage (DAS), there are no ties and the third quarter order is:

  • EMC with 21.7 per cent and $1,649m;
  • HP with 18.9 per cent and $1,436m;;
  • Dell with 11.6 per cent and $879m;
  • NetApp with 9.2 per cent and $700m; and
  • the "others" with 23.8 per cent and $1,812m.
IDC Storage Tracker Q1 Q3 Total Storage

IDC Storage Tracker Q1 to Q3, total storage revenues

Graphing the results over the past three quarters again shows a steady decline by NetApp and generally upwards trends by all the other vendors for whom DAS is a growing source of disk storage revenue. The "others" category is down overall over this period. In this category, NetApp could disappear into the "others" category, joining Hitachi, if its revenue share continues down past 7.5 per cent.

Other storage tracker bullet points:

The total open networked disk storage market (NAS Combined with Open / iSCSI SAN) grew 12.3 per cent year over year in the third quarter to just shy of $4.9bn in revenues. EMC continues to maintain its leadership in the total open networked storage market with 31.3 per cent revenue share, followed by NetApp with a 14.4 per cent revenue share.

In the Open SAN market, which grew 16.1 per cent year over year, EMC was the leading vendor with 25.3 per cent revenue share, followed by IBM in second and HP in third with 15.4 per cent and 14.0 per cent share, respectively.

The NAS market grew 3.5 per cent year over year, led by EMC with 46.7 per cent revenue share and followed by NetApp with 30.9 per cent share. The iSCSI SAN market continues to show strong growth, posting 19.5 per cent revenue growth compared to the prior year's quarter. Dell led the market with 30.3 per cent revenue share, followed by EMC in second with 19.2 per cent and HP in third with 14.0 per cent market share.

The takeaways from this are that NetApp is showing weakness, HP is growing steadily, Dell may be losing ground on external storage, and the market is still growing, with a sixth consecutive quarter of growth. ®

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