Disk arrays: EMC rules, NetApp gains

By Dave Simpson

—The Gartner Inc. research and consulting firm recently released its Q1 2007 market share and revenue figures for the external, controller-based disk array market.

Not surprisingly, EMC retained its number-one spot, by a long shot. First-quarter revenues of $923.8 million earned the company a 24.5% market share (versus a 25.4% share in Q1 2006), followed by IBM with a 13.2% slice ($499.6 million in revenue), Hewlett-Packard with 12.8% ($482.4 million), and Hitachi with 9.7% ($366 million). Network Appliance and Dell were in a virtual tie for fifth place, both with an 8.4% market share and revenues of approximately $316 million. Rounding out the leader board was Sun Microsystems, with a 5.1% market share on Q1 revenue of $193.8 million (see table).

The top-six vendors all increased their market share from Q1 2006 to Q1 2007, with one exception: Sun fell 15% in terms of revenue.

The biggest gainer was NetApp, which increased its revenues by 19.3% in Q1 2007 vs. Q1 2006, enabling the company to pull into a dead heat with Dell, which posted an 11.5% increase in revenues.

It should be noted that, in Gartner's calculations, EMC revenue figures do not include OEM revenue from Dell and Fujitsu Siemens, and Hitachi's revenue figures exclude OEM revenue from HP and Sun.

Historically, the "other vendors" category has been shrinking in terms of revenues and market share, but in a surprising twist "others" increased their market share from 16.8% in Q1 2006 to 17.9% in Q1 2007, representing a revenue surge from $604.7 million to $673.9 million—an 11.4% increase.

Overall, the external, controller-based disk array market topped $3.77 billion in Q1 2007, a 4.8% increase over Q1 2006 revenues of almost $3.6 billion.

This article was originally published on June 12, 2007