Hyperscale Data Centers Snapped up Storage in Q4 2014

By Pedro Hernandez

Enterprise data storage systems vendors ended 2014 on a high note.

According to the latest edition International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, revenues jumped 7.2 percent year-over-year during the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), earning enterprise storage systems makers $10.6 billion. Shipped storage capacity shot up 43.7 percent, compared to the same year-ago period, amounting to a whopping 31.8 exabytes.

IDC research director Eric Sheppard observed in a statement that the "market had a strong finish to 2014." Worldwide, businesses snapped up flash-enabled hardware and systems that enable data center operators to store and manage skyrocketing amounts of data.

"Fourth quarter spending on enterprise storage systems was up strongly in most major geographic markets, driven by traditional year-end seasonality, demand for midrange systems that incorporate flash capacity, and continued growth of systems designed for hyperscale datacenters," added Sheppard.

As usual, Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC was the data storage systems provider to beat last quarter. "EMC finished 4Q14 in the top position within the total worldwide enterprise storage systems market, accounting for 22.2 percent of all spending," stated IDC in its report. All told, the company sold over $2.3 billion worth of disk storage systems.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) took the number two spot with sales of over $1.4 billion and a 13.8 percent share of the market in 4Q14. Dell and IBM were in a statistical tie with sales of roughly $950 million and 9 percent market share each. NetApp rounded out the top five with $764 million in revenue and 7.2 percent of the market.

Meanwhile, original design manufacturers are racking up big customer wins as cloud services continue to attract both consumers and enterprises.

"As a single group, storage systems sales by original design manufacturers (ODMs) selling directly to hyperscale datacenter customers accounted for 12.8 percent of global spending during the quarter," stated IDC. ODMs snagged almost 26 percent of the market during the fourth quarter on over $1.3 in sales, a 20 percent gain compared to the same year ago period.

EMC took the top spot in external disk storage during 4Q14, followed by IBM, NetApp, HP and Hitachi. Collectively, the category generated $7.1 billion in revenues, up 3.4 percent year-over-year. IDC also observed that the "open networked disk storage market (NAS Combined with non-mainframe SAN) was up 6.1 percent year over year to $6.3 billion in revenue," with EMC again in the lead.

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

This article was originally published on March 09, 2015