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All-flash rules while Brexit slows UK storage spend, says IDC

IDC quarterly storage shipments tracker shows all-flash storage on top of the pile while Brexit slows UK spending and Huawei knocks Hitachi Data Systems out of top five

All-flash storage arrays continue to chart staggering growth and total shipments, with sales accounting for 31% of all external disk systems in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) and a growth rate in shipments of 35.8%.

These figures – released in IDC’s Quarterly disk storage systems tracker for the last three months of 2017 – form part of a second quarter in succession that has seen storage spend increase. The UK lags behind other areas of Europe, however, which IDC attributes to Brexit worries putting a freeze on budgets.

Another interesting development is that Chinese hardware maker Huawei has supplanted Hitachi Data Systems in IDC’s top five suppliers by market share.

While all-flash storage is the star of the show, hybrid flash storage system shipments also grew by 19.5%, although their share of total shipments remained static.

Spinning disk-based HDD-equipped storage systems continued to decline in market share, with a shrinkage of 18.9%.

In total, the Western European external storage market recorded growth of 9.8% in monetary terms, while capacity grew by 8.7% to 3,043PB (petabytes).

“IT departments in key Emea countries have resumed investments while progressing into their digital transformation plans, or modernising or refreshing their datacentre in an effort to get ready for key workloads, such as big data,” said Silvia Cosso, research manager in European storage and datacentre for IDC.

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IDC attributes weaker IT spending in the UK to uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Recent spending forecasts show IT spend to 2020 being driven by the Nordic countries, France and Germany, with the UK expected to be the fourth weakest in terms of growth for 2017-2018.

According to IDC, the hardware market in the UK shows weak positive expected growth for the forecast period, with strong currency fluctuations cited as a factor and “British demand ... underperforming other countries”.

Top disk storage system suppliers in Emea by market share in the IDC fourth quarter 2017 report were Dell EMC with 25% (down 8.5% year-on-year), HPE with 16.67% (up 7.5% year-on-year), IBM on 14.88% (up 41.5% year-on-year), NetApp on 13.86% (up 14.56% year-on-year) and Huawei, which recorded market share of 7.65% (up 137.94% year-on-year) and drove HDS out of the Emea top five.

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