RAID revenues post double digit growth

RAID revenues post double digit growth

Zachary Shess

Disk array shipments are continuing a decade-long trend of steady growth, fueled by the commoditization of RAID technology and a continuing thirst for storage in open-systems environments.

According to a recent report from Disk/Trend Inc., a market research firm in Mountain View, CA, worldwide disk array revenues topped $12.5 billion in 1998, with nearly $14.5 billion expected this year. By 2002, Disk/Trend expects array revenues to reach almost $20 billion—a CAGR of about 12%.

The midrange RAID segment is expected to fuel growth into the next decade, as it did throughout the 1990s.

This segment accounted for 1.3 million arrays in 1998, representing 73% of total revenues, and is forecasted to reach nearly 2.2 million units and 87% of the market by 2002.

The second largest revenue segment--mainframe arrays—will decline due to decreasing mainframe shipments and drive costs. Those factors are expected to cause a revenue drop from $3.2 billion last year to $2.4 billion in 2002.

Despite steady increases in disk drive unit shipments, declining prices have translated into razor-thin margins and vendor consolidation. In 1995, Disk/Trend listed 179 manufacturers of RAID controller boards, software, or subsystems. In 1999, that total dropped to 115 vendors.

This report marks the final work of Disk/Trend, which is closing at the end of the month. Reports will still be available at its Web site: www.disktrend.com. Disk/Trend president Jim Porter says he will turn his attention to writing, including a book about the history of the disk-drive industry.

This article was originally published on December 01, 1999