IDC reports that external disk storage sales revenue rose by 19 percent in the third quarter of this year, compared to the year ago quarter, as companies increased IT spending after a slowdown in 2009 due to the recession. Worldwide sales reached $5.18 billion in the three months ending Sept. 30, from $4.35 billion a year ago.
Total disk storage revenue rose by 18.5 percent in the quarter, to just under $7 billion from $5.9 billion a year ago. Total disk storage includes internal disks that are built into servers, although the lion's share of the market is external storage running in its own hardware.
"Nineteen percent is a very healthy market compared to 2009. It's tremendous growth," says Natalya Yezhkova, a research director at IDC. "And 2008 was a very healthy year."
The severe economic downturn that hit in late 2008 affected only the fourth quarter, but recession-wary IT buyers reduced disk storage and other purchases until this year, Yezhkova says. In addition, storage demand is stimulated by the increasing volumes of data that companies and other enterprises need to save.
Among the top five external disk storage vendors, NetApp reported the largest sales growth, boosting revenue by 55 percent to $601 million, from $388 million a year ago. This brought NetApp into a statistical tie with HP for third place in terms of market share, with about 11 percent each. The other market share rankings were EMC (first with a 26.1 percent share), IBM (second at 12.9 percent) and Dell (fifth at 9.1 percent).