Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Year In Review: Disk-y Business

The good news is that storage costs continue to drop, with third quarter disk capacity shipments up 30.7% year over year. Meanwhile, vendor revenues have increased only 8.5%, meaning enterprises can buy more
storage for less money
. The bad news is that information volumes are growing at a minimum rate of 59% annually, so that even with the cost per byte--giga, zetta, undecillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) – dropping rapidly--falling prices can't keep pace with increasing storage demands. According to Forrester Research, with 2011 IT budgets seeing more restrained growth--barely 7%--storage has become the poster child for doing more with less.

Against this backdrop of a world drowning in data, here are some highlights of what unfolded in the disk storage market in 2011, which is dominated by six vendors with more than 80% of the market.

The year started with the forecast that data was only growing at a paltry 50%-plus, with pure-play storage vendors like EMC and NetApp ruling the storage heap. According to Gartner, lots of users are still trying to buy the best-of-breed products from NetApp and EMC, and not from the server
vendors like IBM and HP (or Dell and Oracle/Sun).

Market leader EMC grew its 2010 external disk revenue share 3% to 28%, almost double IBM's 14.4%. In January, EMC made its biggest product launch in its--or the storage industry's--history, with 41 new products, including its first significant foray into the SMB market and a complete refresh of its midrange Clariion storage area network (SAN) and Celerra network-attached storage (NAS) systems.

"What you're seeing today is EMC doubling down on its core franchise: storage. The technologies are changing, the use cases are changing, and the consumption models are changing," said EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci at the New York event/webcast. "These new products and capabilities put us in an excellent position to capitalize on the major trends in the IT industry and place us squarely at the intersection of the biggest ones: cloud computing and big data."

In April, EMC expanded its Greenplum database appliance line with the High Capacity DCA (or, Data Computing Appliance), the High Performance DCA and the Data Integration Accelerator, as well as version 4.1 of Greenplum Database software. A month later, it beefed up its SMB (Iomega) storage portfolio, expanding beyond its largely SOHO base. In August, EMC replaced the Iomega top-end StorCenter ix12-300r with the StorCenter px12-350r Network Storage Array, with up to 36 Tbytes of storage for less than $10,500.

  • 1