Storage-Centric Vendors Outshine Server Rivals In 4Q Storage Growth

Vendors such as EMC, NetApp and Hitachi, whose primary business was storage, took market share away from competitors such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard, who sell both servers and storage, leaving Dell the only server vendor to actually grow its storage business during the quarter, according to analyst firm IDC.

IDC on March 1 reported strong growth in the worldwide storage hardware market during the fourth quarter of 2011 over the same period of 2010.

[Related: EMC Still Tops In Storage Software, But IBM Closes On Symantec For Second Spot: IDC ]

IDC measures the storage market in two different ways.

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For the external disk storage system market, which includes sales of storage arrays with room for three or more disk drives, IDC reported growth of 7.7 percent over last year to reach $6.6 billion. For all of 2011, external disk storage system revenue grew 10.6 percent to reach $23.5 billion.

For the disk storage systems market, which includes the revenue from storage systems plus the storage included in servers, IDC reported fourth-quarter revenue of $8.5 billion, up 3.5 percent over the same period last year. For all of 2011, revenue for disk storage systems sales reached $31.1 billion, up 8.2 percent over last year.

By both measures, storage king EMC increased its storage market lead during the fourth quarter and full year 2011. During the quarter, EMC had a 29.4 percent share of the worldwide external disk storage systems market, up from its 25.9 percent market share a year ago thanks to a revenue growth of 22.4 percent. For the worldwide total disk storage market, EMC had a 22.6 percent market share, up from 19.1 percent a year ago.

For external disk storage systems, IBM was No. 2 in the fourth quarter with a 15.2 percent market share. However, the company's revenue was flat over last year, resulting in a drop in market share from last year's 16.4 percent.

NetApp was No. 3 thanks to a 16.6 percent growth in revenue during the fourth quarter over last year to give the company an 11.2 percent market share. HP came in at No. 4 with a 10.3 percent market share after a year-over-year revenue growth of 3.8 percent. It was followed by Hitachi, which saw its revenue grow 11.6 percent to give it a 9.2 percent market share.

For the total disk storage systems market, HP lost its No. 1 market share position to EMC thanks to a drop in revenue of 4.6 percent, giving it a 17.7 percent share of the market.

IBM kept its No. 3 spot with a 16.4 percent market share despite an 8.2 percent drop in revenue over last year. It was followed by Dell, which with its 10.6 percent growth in revenue was the only major system vendor to gain market share. It had a market share of 11.6 percent. NetApp, which had a strong 16.6 percent growth over last year, kept its No. 5 position with an 8.6 percent market share.

The HP results include its 3PAR acquisition, while the Dell results include its Compellent acquisition.

IDC said the 2011 NAS market declined 1.2 percent over 2010. EMC was the leading NAS vendor with a 48.8 percent revenue share, followed by NetApp with a 29.4 percent share.

The iSCSI SAN market grew well in 2011, with revenue up 16.6 percent over 2010, IDC said. Dell was the market leader with a revenue share of 30.8 percent, followed by EMC at 20.4 percent and HP at 12.8 percent.