Disk Vendors at It Again

IDC's quarterly report has 'em at each other's throats

June 8, 2007

2 Min Read
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3:50 PM -- It wouldn't surprise me if Brad Nisbet of IDC dreads the public release of his quarterly disk storage figures, which are usually accompanied by vendor uproar aimed at the press.

There are quibbles about methodology and terminology. (See What's in a NAS?) And naturally, some players want their numbers emphasized beyond IDC's official statements. But the latest report has launched unprecedented chest-beating from HP and IBM. (See IDC Sizes Up Disk Storage.)

The kerfuffle apparently centers on the following finding, as stated by IDC: "For the first quarter, EMC maintained its lead in the external disk storage systems market with 21.2% revenue share, followed by HP and IBM in a statistical tie for the number 2 position with 13.4% and 12.7% revenue share, respectively."

What??!! A statistical tie? That's just not possible in the world of big-vendor storage. Both HP and IBM took to the wires with florid responses this week, digging through the fine points of IDC's report for the real number 1:

  • From IBM on Monday: "IBM... today announced that a new report from leading industry analyst firm IDC shows that for 2006, IBM surpassed all storage vendors worldwide to claim the #1 worldwide revenue share position for combined disk and tape storage products."

  • From HP on Thursday: "HP ... has reclaimed the No. 1 position in worldwide total disk storage systems revenue from IBM...."

  • From IBM on Thursday: "IBM is the most trusted storage vendor in the world, and today's quarterly data from IDC shows that customers are buying integrated storage solutions from IBM and not from EMC or H-P," said Andy Monshaw, General Manager, IBM System Storage.

We'll spare you the email from an HP rep (subject line: Big Blue Bites the Dust), which calls IBM's claims "bombastic" and its Monday-morning boasting "premature."

It's not over yet. The effort to break IDC's statistical tie is likely to keep spinmeisters busy for a few weeks to come -- unless someone turns up missing from the sacred quadrant. But that's another report.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • IDC

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