IDC: Worldwide disk storage capacity grows 33% in 2009

Open storage systems, including iSCSI SANs, were a bright spot for 2009

The amount of disk storage capacity shipped worldwide grew 33.4% in 2009, with more than 3.3 petabytes worth of capacity sold during the fourth quarter alone. Also, in the fourth quarter, disk storage revenue also grew .2% to $7.3 billion, representing the first increase in external storage systems sales in more than a year, according to a report release today by market research firm IDC.

Year over year, however, disk storage sales dropped by .7% in 2009, according to IDC.

"Although 2009 might have gotten off to a rough start, it ended on a strong note," said Liz Conner, senior research analyst for storage systems at IDC in Framingham, Mass.

One of the bright spots for 2009 external disk storage sales was in the open networked disk storage market, which is made up by network-attached storage (NAS) and open iSCSI storage area networks (SAN). Sales in that market grew 3.6% year over year in the fourth quarter to $4.2 billion.

Total disk storage sales revenue, which includes external and internal drives, also grew in the fourth quarter of 2009. It was the first time since the third quarter of 2008 that total sales saw an uptick. The fourth quarter represented 29.7% of the revenues for the entire year, compared with 26.2% in the same quarter the previous year.

"Much of this increase was driven by open networked storage," Conner said.

EMC maintained its market share lead in total open networked storage sales with a 27.9% revenue share, followed by IBM with 16.0% revenue share. EMC also lead the market in total disk storage systems shipped with 23.7% revenue share in the fourth quarter, followed by IBM, with 16.8% market share, and Hewlett-Packard with 12.1%. NetApp and Dell finished the quarter in a statistical tie for fourth position with 8.3% and 8.1% revenue share respectively.

The Open SAN market grew 0.9% year over year. EMC also lead that market with 20.4% of the revenue share, followed by IBM with 19.3% share. The NAS market grew 12.6% year over year, also led by EMC with 50.5% revenue share and followed by NetApp with 20.2% share.

IDC said the iSCSI SAN market continued to show strong growth with a 40.6% revenue jump year over year in the fourth quarter. Dell led that market with 29.2% revenue share, followed by HP with 18.5%.

Steve Scully, research manager for enterprise storage at IDC, said NAS represents 20% of the external disk storage revenue because users are looking for "storage solutions to help them deal with the continued growth in unstructured, file-based data.

"The growing number of unified storage solutions has made it easier for customers to implement one platform for multiple file-based and block-based storage workloads," Scully said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld . Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Knowledge Center.

This story, "IDC: Worldwide disk storage capacity grows 33% in 2009" was originally published by Computerworld.

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