Gartner: disk storage market expands 5% in Q4’13

Analysts see a return to growth in the storage market following a dismal third quarter, with things looking good for EMC and HP

Sales of global external controller-based disk storage grew by 5% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2013, according to the latest market statistics from analysts at Gartner.

With total sales hitting $6.3bn in the last three months of the year, Gartner research VP Roger Cox said that a combination of pent-up demand and year-end budget flushes among buyers meant the sector was able to put an “abysmal” third quarter well in is rear view mirrors.

There were strong performances from a number of vendors at the close of 2013, Gartner found, with EMC and HP beating the market growth rate, with revenues up 9.2% and 25.3% respectively, propelled by strong sales of VNX and Data Domain on EMC’s side, and 3PAR StoreServ and StoreOnce disk-based backup platforms delivering the goods at HP.

Fujitsu and NetApp also had year-on-year market domains, with NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP gaining traction among customers, and Fujitsu strong across the board after a solid performance in EMEA.

There was bad news, however, for Dell, IBM and Oracle, with Dell suffering from a lack of buyer confidence apparently engendered by its MBO, IBM not able to offset declines on its NetApp business, and Oracle unable to drum up sufficient market coverage, said Gartner.

EMC was the largest vendor in the market, making sales of $2.26bn and accounting for 36% of the market. Second-placed IBM made sales of $900.3m and took 14.3% of the addressable market, while NetApp came in third, making sales of $658.1m, giving it market share of 10.5%.

The top five were rounded out by HP and HDS, followed by Dell, new entrant Huawei, Fujitsu and Oracle in that order.

For the full year, worldwide disk storage sales hit $22.5bn, up 1.4% on 2012, growth that Gartner described as anaemic, thanks to muddled global macroeconomics.

Although cost per terabyte continued to decline during 2013, ASPs were up 5.1%, signalling more sales of larger storage configurations.

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