EMC, HP, IBM, NetApp Stand to Gain in Growing Storage Market

By Steve Wexler  |  Print this article Print

As the amount of data to be stored grows at more than 50 percent per year, and the length of time that data must be stored is being extended, it's no surprise that the big four storage vendors -- EMC, HP, IBM and NetApp -- are getting bigger, aided by their channels.

Regardless of what's happening with the economy, the amount of data to be stored is still growing at more than 50 percent per year, and the length of time that data must be retained is being extended, too. This means it's a very good time to be among the vendors—EMC, IBM, HP and NetApp—selling storage hardware, software and services.

In fact, says Taneja Group’s Jeff Boles, senior analyst and director of validation services, storage demand is probably growing closer to 70 percent per year, and he thinks we will see new ways of working with data, technologies and applications like richer videos that will increase that number for brief spurts, if not long term.

"We should expect that our data footprint year over year is going to grow at least at that 60 to 70 percent rate," he tells Channel Insider.

According to Gartner, the external controller-based (ECB) disk storage market experienced an 8.6 percent year-over-year decline from $18 billion in 2008 to $16.3 billion in 2009 and raw terabyte shipments grew only 39.1 percent while the price per terabyte decreased 34.3 percent.

EMC retained its lead with 25 percent of the market ($4.104 billion), followed by IBM ($2.431 billion) and HP ($1.718 billion). NetApp was just edged out by Dell, finishing in fifth place, with revenue of $1.372 billion. With HDS, Sun and Fujitsu rounding out the top eight vendors, they accounted for 82.6 percent of the market ($16.446 billion).

IDC's analysis of the 2009 market put the decline at 10.2 percent, but overall sales at $18.1 billion. The only significant difference from Gartner's viewpoint was putting Dell in fourth, again just slightly ahead of NetApp.

While still a very small part of the overall market, solid-state drives (SSDs) did well, growing 14 percent year over year. Looking forward, IDC expects SSD shipments to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54 percent over the 2008 to 2013 forecast period.

For storage software, IDC reported sales slipped 4.7 percent to $11.725 billion for 2009, with EMC (22.7 percent), Symantec (17.9 percent), IBM (13.5 percent), NetApp (8 percent) and CA (4 percent) holding down the top five spots and accounting for 67.1 percent of the total market.