IDC: Networked Storage Up

Combined SAN, NAS, and iSCSI sees highest growth rate in disk storage sector, IDC reports

June 5, 2004

2 Min Read
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The latest storage figures from market research firm IDC show networked storage is the fastest-growing segment of the disk storage systems market.

IDC's "Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker," released today, shows worldwide revenues from networked disk storage products, including NAS, SAN, and iSCSI gear, totaled $1.9 billion in the first quarter 2004, up 17.5 percent from the first quarter 2003.

In contrast, external disk storage, of which networked storage is a subset (albeit a large one, comprising about 54 percent of sales this quarter), grew 6.5 percent to $3.5 billion. External disk storage systems include direct-attached storage gear, such as RAID boxes.

Sales of NAS gear accounted for about 21 percent of all networked storage revenues, and what the firm calls "open SAN," comprising non-mainframe SANs based mostly on Fibre Channel, accounted for 79 percent.

Figures for NAS and SAN are rising, despite a small drop in first-quarter sales, attributed by IDC to seasonal budget fluctuations. IDC says worldwide NAS sales of $416 million in the first quarter were up 21.2 percent year over year, while open SAN sales were up 16.5 percent to $1.6 billion.While still representing less than 1 percent of the open SAN market, iSCSI sales are ramping fast. According to IDC program manager and report co-author Brad Nisbet, sales of iSCSI totaled just $18 million for all of 2003, but in the first quarter of 2004, they reached $16 million.

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Nisbet says the figures show a slow-but-sure shift from internal to external storage and from direct-attached to the use of networked storage. It's a trend that should hold. "We'll continue to see strong growth," he predicts. IDC is in the process of updating its forecasts for networked storage, but Nisbet says the firm's October prediction of 11 percent CAGR for networked storage through 2007 is likely to endure.

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) came out on top of the networked storage market, with 28.5 percent market share for the first quarter 2004, followed by Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) with 22.8 percent, IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) with 10.5 percent, Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) with 8.3 percent, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) with 8.1 percent, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) with 6 percent, Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) with 5.4 percent, and other suppliers totaling 10.4 percent.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch0

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