Array shipments to top 1.5 million by 2000
RAID arrays are becoming further entrenched in midrange markets and making significant headway onto the desktop.
According to a recent report from Disk/Trend, a storage market research firm in Mountain View, CA, the largest market for disk-drive arrays continues to be network server and midrange system applications. In 1996, this market segment accounted for some 62% of worldwide disk-array sales and more than 93% of total unit shipments. At year-end 1997, worldwide sales figures had jumped 33%, to nearly $9 billion. These numbers are expected to climb rapidly as vendors begin shipping lower-cost network-attached storage servers and arrays. Examples include Acer, ALR, Artecon, IBM, Legacy Storage Systems, MicroNet, MTI, and Network Appliance.
Storage systems for single-user systems are expected to see an incremental increase in sales revenues through the period, thanks to efforts by companies such as Adaptec and Mylex, which have significantly lowered the cost of hardware-based RAID by embedding RAID on the motherboard. Adaptec`s RAIDport solution, for example, lowers the cost of adding RAID to less than $300.
Meanwhile, revenue for mainframe arrays continues to decline, impacted in part by falling prices for high-end disk drives. By 2000, this market is expected to shrink to $2.6 billion--just 15% of worldwide disk-array revenues.
Last year was marked by continuing consolidation in the drive-array arena. At its peak, according to Disk/Trend, 179 companies offered drive arrays under their own name. Today, that number has dropped to 149 vendors, with a handful of companies capturing the lion`s share of the revenues.--HB