The latest storage numbers are in and -- big surprise -- storage spending is up.
Figures released from the Gartner on Thursday show worldwide external controller-based disk storage revenue totaled US$3.2 billion in the second quarter, up 5.1 percent from the US$3.1 billion recorded in the same period last year.
The figures also confirm what Hewlett-Packard (HP) officials admitted last month: The company had problems in its storage group during the quarter. While most other vendors saw their revenue increase, HP's revenue declined 8.5 percent to US$532.5 million in the quarter from US$582 million in 2003's second quarter. According to the report, HP was forced to cut prices on its EVA and MSA products in the second quarter because it was late to market with low-cost, high-capacity disk drives.
HP was not the only vendor to show a decline. Hitachi Data Systems saw sales decline 15.8 percent to US$223.2 million from US$265 million the previous year. Hitachi is reading a refresh to most of its line that will be announced next week; so much of its decline can be laid at the feet of selling off old product in anticipation of the new line. Sun Microsystems's storage revenue also fell, dropping to US$260.2 million, down from US$275 million the previous year. However, the report noted that Sun's revenue was the first quarter-to-quarter revenue increase in four quarters, adding a bright note to Sun's storage fortunes.
Topping the list in Gartner's survey was EMC, which had revenue of US$745.6 million in the quarter, an increase 17.4 percent over 2003's US$635 million. While HP held onto second place in the rankings, third-place IBM grew closer with its US$427.6 million in sales, a 6.6 percent increase over 2003's US$401 million.
Dell, Network Appliance, and Storage Technology (StorageTek) all showed healthy increases during the quarter. Dell's revenue grew 27.8 percent to 195.6 million, up from US$153 million in 2003, demonstrating that its strategic partnership with EMC was paying off. Network Appliance showed strength in its new line of products with revenue growth of 28.1 percent. Network Appliance had sales of US$184.5 million, up from last year's US$144 million. StorageTek recorded sales of US$42.9 million, a 26.2 percent increase over 2003's US$34 million.
The large "other" category also increased, jumping 5.8 percent to US$620.8 million in revenues, up from US$587 million in 2003.