HDS takes a bite out of EMC, IBM high-end storage

Hitachi Data Systems is taking storage systems market share from competitors EMC and IBM, particularly in the area of high-end disk arrays, according to reports released this week from A.G. Edwards & Sons and Bear, Stearns & Co.

The research groups pointed to Hitachi's storage earnings results for the second quarter, which were up 25 percent over the previous quarter and up 18 percent over the same quarter in 2004. Meanwhile, EMC Symmetrix sales were down 2 percent year over year in the second quarter, and IBM's quarterly disk storage sales were off 10 percent sequentially.

A.G. Edwards placed Hitachi in the No. 2 spot for high-end systems, with 38 percent of the market, behind EMC, which had 42 percent market share and ahead of IBM, which had 20 percent of the market. According to A.G. Edwards, Hitachi made gains in the high-end RAID market.

"Given a 6.5 percent sequential decline in EMC's high-end Symmetrix business during the [calendar third quarter], and our belief that IBM continues to experience sluggish growth in its high-end DS8000 and DS6000 [arrays], we estimate that Hitachi has gained as much as seven percentage points of market share in the high-end RAID market. This represents Hitachi's highest share in more than four years," A.G. Edwards analyst Aaron C. Rakers wrote in his research note.

Bear, Stearns analyst Andrew J. Neff noted that the recent gains by Hitachi reversed a 10-quarter slide in sales.

"Looking ahead, it appears that EMC is positioned to regain share over the next six to 12 months given its recent high-end [Symmetrix] DMX refresh in September, which is ramping volumes in the current quarter," Neff wrote.

While A.G. Edwards noted that more than 1,700 TagmaStore units have shipped, up from the more than 1,000 arrays shipped during the previous quarter, Hitachi's "lack of a meaningful reseller relationship (e.g., Dell/EMC and now IBM/NetApp) remains a challenge, in our opinion."

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