IBM jumps to #2 in disk arrays

—Worldwide external controller-based (ECB) disk storage revenue totaled $15.2 billion in 2006, a 4.1% increase over 2005 revenue of $14.6 billion, according to Gartner Inc.

IBM overtook Hewlett-Packard for the number two position in 2006 (see Table 1). IBM's worldwide ECB market share increased to 15.8%, while HP's market share dropped to 13.1%. EMC maintained the number one spot in 2006, as well as increasing its market share to 24.8% in 2006 compared with 23.4% in 2005. Hitachi/HDS maintained its number four position with a market share of 9.5%. Dell and Network Appliance were numbers five and six with 7.6% and 7.2% of the market, respectively. Sun Microsystems rounded out the top vendors in the number seven spot, finishing the year with a 6.1% market share.

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Large vendors increasingly control a larger portion of the industry as consolidation continues, and effective marketing and channel partnerships strengthen their relative positions in the market. In 2006, the top seven vendors accounted for 84.2% of worldwide ECB revenue, up from 81.5% of total sales in 2005. In the fourth quarter of 2006, the top seven vendors' market share totaled 85.2%, up from an 83.6% market share in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Network Appliance experienced the strongest growth among the top-tier vendors, with 21.7% revenue growth in 2006 and 36.6% revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2006. Network Appliance is within striking distance of its closest competitor, Dell, whose year-over-year revenue growth was only 3.5%. Hitachi/HDS overtook the number four position from Dell in the fourth quarter of 2006.

IBM gained market share of 2.1% to finish the year at 19.4%. Strong sales in its NAS and midrange products contributed to IBM's revenue growth of 17.3% year over year, according to Gartner analysts.

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Gartner's report reflects hardware-only revenue, as well as hardware revenue associated with financial leases and managed services. Optional storage software revenue and storage area network infrastructure components are excluded.

Additional information on the ECB disk storage market is available in the Gartner Dataquest report "Market Share: Disk Array Storage, All Regions, All Countries, 1Q05-4Q06." The report includes vendor market share by data access method, price band, channel, and operating system segmentation. The report is available on Gartner's Website.

Gartner analysts will provide more detailed analysis on the state of the storage industry at upcoming Gartner Infrastructure, Operations, and Data Centre Summit in Sydney, Australia, May 8-9, and June 11-13 in Orlando, Florida. Additional information on Gartner's conferences is available at www.gartner.com.

This article was originally published on March 09, 2007