Disk arrays: IBM edges HP

By Dave Simpson

—IBM edged out Hewlett-Packard in terms of market share in the external disk array market in the first quarter of this year with a 12.7% share compared to HP's 12.4% slice. IBM's strong showing was due in large part to sales of its DS4000 and DS8000 disk systems. Compared to the first quarter of 2005, IBM had a 12.1% gain in revenues, while HP slipped 7.1%.

EMC, meanwhile, retained its number-one position by a long shot, racking up revenues almost twice those of IBM ($915.4 million versus $482.7 million) for a market share of 24.1%. In terms of revenue, EMC gained 12.5% in Q1 2006 vs. Q1 2005.

Those figures are according to a recent market share report on external controller-based disk systems from the Gartner IT consulting and research firm. The report notes that the total market for external disk arrays totaled $3.8 billion in the first quarter of this year (the most recent period for which figures are available)—an 8.6% increase over the same period last year.

Hitachi held on to its number-four position with a 9.2% market share (a slight decline over the same period last year). Dell and Network Appliance duked it out for the fifth position, with Dell edging NetApp by a 7.5% vs. 7% share margin.

Among the major vendors, Sun brought up the rear with a 6.0% market share on revenues of $227.9 million. On the bright side, though, Sun gained a 1% market share compared to Q1 2005 and increased revenues by a whopping 29.8%, in part attributable to brisk sales of its high-end disk arrays that the company OEMs from Hitachi.

(In Gartner's tabulations, EMC revenue excludes OEM revenue from Dell and Fujitsu-Siemens, and Hitachi revenue excludes OEM revenue from HP and Sun.)

Gartner competitor International Data Corp. (IDC) also recently released market share figures. According to IDC, EMC held on to its lead in the NAS market with a 37.1% share, followed by NetApp with 34.4%. However, NetApp was number one in the iSCSI disk systems market, with a 29.7% share compared to EMC's 24.2% share.

IDC reported that the iSCSI market totaled $91.5 million in Q1 2006, up 37.7% from Q1 2005.

This article was originally published on June 14, 2006