Coming to Terms With NAS

Fur flies over quarterly market figures

December 3, 2005

2 Min Read
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4:00 PM -- IDC released its quarterly figures on the disk storage market this morning, reporting a record rise of 13.3 percent to $5.7 billion in worldwide disk storage revenue for the third quarter 2005 (see IDC Cites Record Storage.) And as usual, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM hit the wires to boast their respective market positions.

But a few companies didn't join the pressfest. Most notably absent was Network Appliance, which may be in a pout again. Last quarter, the company complained that IDC wasn't counting its NAS systems properly, resulting in EMC, not NetApp, topping the charts in the NAS category. (See IDC: Disk Storage Soars and NetApp Quibbles With IDC.)

NetApp's gripe has to do with certain products of EMC's being counted as NAS that it claims are not really NAS. (See the articles cited above for specifics.) But IDC is unrepentent, and the firm's program manager for storage systems, Brad Nisbet, says he hasn't changed his taxonomy.

This quarter's report includes the following:

  • In the NAS market, which grew 7.5% year over year, EMC maintained its 40% revenue share, followed by NetApp with 35.1% share. The iSCSI SAN market doubled again with 105% revenue growth year over year. NetApp continues to lead the market with 35.1% share, followed by EMC with 24.0% share. HP made the strongest share gain, increasing its iSCSI SAN revenue share from nearly zero to almost 10% in the third quarter from a year ago.

A NetApp spokesperson says the company will have its own release in response to IDC's results next week. We can't wait. Will NetApp take up cudgels with Nisbet again? Or will the firm play up the substantial growth of the iSCSI SAN market and their own sizeable piece of that action?

In a way, it's the latest ripple in NetApp's self-acknowledged marketing crisis. (See NetApp 'Kinda Screwed Up'). It will be telling to see how it responds. In the meantime, the storage beat goes on.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

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