Storage-focused vendors including EMC, NetApp and Hitachi far outperformed their server peers in fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 storage hardware sales, both in terms of total sales and sales growth, according to a new report from Gartner.
The storage industry saw external controller-based disk storage sales of $6.0 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, up 1.9 percent over the same period of 2011, according to Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner. That low fourth-quarter growth, which Gartner said resulted from economic slowdowns worldwide, was a bit of a drag on sales for all of 2012, which reached $22.3 billion, up 4.9 percent over 2011.
Gartner's report on 2012 external storage sales, released Thursday, was somewhat out of alignment with that of rival analyst firm IDC, which two weeks ago reported external storage sales for the fourth quarter rose 2.3 percent to $6.7 billion.
EMC remains the leading vendor of external controller-based disk storage, accounting for about one-third of the market in the fourth quarter and all of 2012, Gartner wrote.
EMC also was the company that saw the greatest growth during the year, with sales of disk storage systems rising 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter and 10.7 percent for the year, or well over twice the overall market growth.
At the other end of the large, name-brand storage vendor spectrum was Oracle, which saw its sales plummet 23.7 percent in the fourth quarter and 11.0 percent for all of 2012.
EMC's external disk storage sales hit $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter, up 6.7 percent over last year. Sales for the entire year hit $7.4 billion, up 10.7 percent for all of 2012, Gartner wrote.
IBM kept its traditional No. 2 spot in the fourth quarter with sales of $977 million, down 0.1 percent over fourth-quarter 2011, giving Big Blue a 16.2 percent market share. For all of 2012, IBM's external controller-based disk storage sales fell 1.4 percent over last year to $3.0 billion.
EMC archrival NetApp remained at No. 3 for the fourth quarter, with sales up 2.8 percent over last year to reach $637 million. For all of 2012, sales were up 2.4 percent to $2.5 billion.
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