IDC: Q4 brings growth in disk storage systems

Growth in revenue from sales of disk storage, particularly in the U.S., is stronger than it has been for two years, IDC said Friday.

Worldwide factory revenues for external disk storage systems grew 8.4 percent year-on-year to US$3.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2003, IDC said. The overall market for disk storage systems grew 6.1 percent, year-on-year.

Favorable exchange rates were a leading factor in growth outside the U.S., but the U.S. actually saw the strongest growth, at 7 percent, IDC said.

The total network storage market, which consists of network-attached storage plus Open and iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) storage area networks (SANs), saw 23.5 percent year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter, to more than US$2.1 billion, largely due to growth in the Open storage area network market, which grew 26.4 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, the research company said.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) continued to lead the external disk storage systems market with 21.7 percent revenue share, followed by EMC Corp. and IBM Corp. with 20.0 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively. Hitachi Ltd. and Dell Inc. followed with 7.4 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively. The top five vendors now have 82.4 percent of the fast-consolidating external disk storage systems market.

EMC maintained its leadership in the total network storage market with 28.1 percent revenue share, followed by HP and IBM with 26.0 percent and 14.4 percent. IBM and HP both saw increases of 2 percentage points from the previous year's quarter. HP led the Open SAN market with 30.9 percent followed by EMC with 25.8 percent market share.

In the overall disk storage market, HP is fighting for first place with IBM, which drew almost level with 25.4 percent compared to HP's 25.6 percent market share for the fourth quarter. EMC came in third with 13.3 percent of the market, followed by Dell with 6.5 percent. Hitachi and Sun Microsystems Inc. shared fifth place with 5.1 percent.

For the full year, the total market grew one percent to US$19.8 billion, IDC said. HP had a 26.3 percent market share for the year, followed by IBM and EMC with 21.6 percent and 12.7 percent.

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