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IDC: External Disk Storage Posts First Decline in More Than 5 Years

For the first time in more than five years, worldwide factory revenues for external disk storage systems posted a decline in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to IDC's Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker. Revenues totaled $5.3 billion, down 0.5 percent, IDC said. The numbers show that storage, one of the stronger tech sectors, isn't immune to the global economic slowdown and cutbacks in IT spending by businesses and other enterprises.

Total disk storage systems revenues were $7.3 billion for the quarter, down 5.9 percent from a year earlier. Overall, vendors shipped 2,460 PB of disk storage systems capacity, up 27.3 percent year-over-year.

Natalya Yezhkova, IDC research manager for storage systems, reported that the slowdown varied among market segments. "High-end storage was impacted negatively by a freeze in end-user spending and longer purchasing cycles; but some low-end and midrange storage segments actually increased as end users broadened their search for storage solutions in these lower-cost segments to satisfy their increasing storage needs while optimizing investments in storage infrastructure," she said in a statement.

EMC remained on top of the external disk storage systems market in the fourth quarter with 23.3 percent revenue share. IBM followed with 15.7 percent and HP was next with 13 percent revenue share. Dell had 9.3 percent share, while Hitachi had 7.8 percent share and NetApp finished the quarter with 7 percent. IDC reported that Dell and HP posted the strongest year-over-year revenue growth during the fourth quarter, up 10 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.

The overall network disk market (NAS plus Open SAN) grew 3.6 percent from a year ago to more than $4.1 billion for the quarter. Again, EMC was on top with 28.6 percent of the total network storage market revenue; IBM was second with 14.5 percent.

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