Storage Market Decline Persisted in Q1: IDC

By Pedro Hernandez

Declining demand for traditional arrays is taking its toll on the enterprise data storage market, according to the latest data released today by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Enterprise storage systems sales totaled $8.2 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2016, a year-over-year decline of 7 percent. Capacity shipments also fell to 27.8 exabytes, a 4-percent drop compared to Q1 2015.

"On the heels of a busy end-of-year spending cycle, the enterprise storage system market reverted to a familiar trend," said IDC research manager Liz Conner in a statement. "Spending on server-based storage was up, spending on traditional external arrays continues to decline, while the nature of hyperscale business leads it to fluctuate heavily with that market segment seeing a heavy decline in 1Q16."

Sales of external storage arrays fell 3.7 percent year-over-year, to $5.4 billion. Hyperscale data center customers pulled back last quarter, causing a drastic 39.9-percent plunge in original design manufacturer (ODM) revenues ($681 million). Meanwhile, server-based storage provider experienced a 2-percent uptick to $2.1 billion in sales.


The fortunes of flash storage vendors are quickly improving, observed IDC.

"The total All Flash Array (AFA) market generated $794.8 million in revenue during the quarter, up 87.4 percent year over year," stated the research firm. "The Hybrid Flash Array (HFA) segment of the market continues to be a significant part of the overall market with $2.2 billion in revenue and 26.5 percent market share."

HP Enterprise (HPE) and EMC scored a statistical tie for first place in the enterprise storage hardware in Q1, with $1.4 billion and $1.35 billion in revenues respectively. HPE finished Q1 with a 17.3-percent share of the market while EMC took home 16.4 percent.

Dell took third place with $845.5 million in sales and 10.3 percent of the market. NetApp was next with $645.5 percent and a 7.9-percent share of the market.

Hitachi and IBM were statistically tied for fifth place on sales of $513.9 million and $475.7 million and market shares of 6.3 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively. Collectively, ODMs pushed $680.5 million worth of product directly to their data center customers in Q1, enough for an 8.3-percent share of the enterprise storage systems market.

In storage arrays, EMC was the market leader with $1.35 billion in sales and nearly 25 percent of the market, followed by NetApp with $645.5 million in revenue and 11.9 percent of the market. HPE and Hitachi tied for third place, each with revenues hovering around half a billion dollars. IBM and Dell tied for fifth place after notching sales of $429 million and $376 million, respectively.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on June 03, 2016