Revenues up for disk storage vendors

Revenue rise

External disk storage companies have been making up for recent lost revenues and, in the third quarter of 2010, showed a year-on year growth of 19 per cent, according to IDC figures.

The market is now worth $5.2 billion (3.3 billion) and IDC estimated this represented 4,299 petabytes of storage shipped in Q3. Compared with the same period last year, this shows a 65.2 per cent increase in storage capacity sold.

"Users are still making up for their reduced storage spending in 2009 as the third quarter recorded the fourth highest revenues in a single quarter for external disk storage systems," said Liz Conner, senior research analyst for storage systems at IDC.

She said the increased investment by end users and vendors in iSCSI SAN(41.4 per cent) and NAS (49.8 per cent) has helped to fuel overall growth. The easing of budget constraints in some parts of the world has seen a pickup in Fibre Channel SAN and higher end systems markets.

EMC was still the market leader in Q3 with $1.4 billion revenue and second-placed IBM showed less than half the income at $667 million (427 million). NetApp, HP and Dell held the next three places but 30 per cent of the market is still held by the rest of the field.

This contrasted with the overall disk market, where HP had a marginal lead over EMC, but IDC's Others' field still showed strongly at 25.7 per cent market share.

Many of the companies lumped together by IDC are the lower-end vendors that have seen a boost during the recession. IT departments have had to balance increasing storage demands with fixed or even reduced budgets compared to previous years.

"The economic crisis of 2009 and commensurate budget reductions compelled end users invest in lower-priced storage systems that still offer enterprise-level features," said Amita Potnis, another IDC senior research analyst for storage systems.

"Although most IT budget restraints have been lifted, the trend toward lower-priced systems continued into 2010, as revenues for external storage systems in the lower price bands ($0-$24.99k) increased by 21.1 per cent year over year."