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Storage Market Posts Growth In 4Q

The worldwide market for disk storage systems improved slightly in the fourth quarter of 2009, posting its first year-over-year growth in four quarters, a research firm said.

Market revenue grew 0.2% to $7.27 billion from $7.26 billion a year ago, IDC said Friday. Revenue from external disk storage systems, which make up the majority of the market, dipped 0.7% to $5.3 billion.

Total of disk storage systems capacity shipped reach 3,304 petabytes, an increase of 33.4% year over year.

"Although 2009 might have gotten off to a rough start, it ended on a strong note," IDC analyst Liz Conner said in a statement. "Total factory revenue for the fourth quarter posted the first year-over-year growth since the third quarter of 2008."

The fourth quarter accounted for 29.7% of 2009 revenues, compared to 26.2% for the same period in 2008, IDC said. Much of the increase was driven by open networked storage, which posted its first year-to-year growth, 3.6%, since the last quarter of 2008.

Looking at the vendors, EMC maintained its lead in the market for external disk storage systems, accounting for 23.7% of revenue in the quarter. IBM was second with a 16.8% share, followed by Hewlett-Packard, 12.1%, and NetApp and Dell, which were statistically tie with 8.3% and 8.1%, respectively.

The total open networked disk storage market, comprising network-attached storage combined with Open/iSCSI storage-area network, grew 3.6% year over year in the quarter to $4.2 billion in revenue. EMC continues to lead the market with a 27.9% share, followed by IBM, 16%.

The Open SAN market grew 0.9% year over year, with EMC leading with a 20.4% share, followed by IBM, 19.3%. The NAS market grew 12.6%. Number one EMC had a 50.5% share, followed by NetApp, 20.2%.

The iSCSI SAN market continued to show strong momentum, posting 40.6% revenue growth from a year ago, IDC said. Dell led the market with a 29.2% share, followed by HP, 18.5%.

NAS use has grown to represent 20% of external disk storage revenue. Driving the increase are corporations looking to manage the rising amount of unstructured, file-based data, IDC analyst Steve Scully said.

"The growing number of unified storage solutions has made it easier for customers to implement one platform for multiple file-based and block-based storage workloads," Scully said.