EMC lengthens its lead in disk array fray

March 7, 2011 – Despite impressive growth from some its arch rivals (most notably, NetApp) EMC appears to be widening the gap between itself and its collective competitors, according to a report on the disk systems market by IDC. The market research company recently issued statistics for the fourth quarter and full-year 2010, including market size, vendor shares and revenues.

EMC capped 2010 with a 25.6% market share on revenue of $5.44 billion in the external disk systems market. That compares to a 2009 market share of 22.9% on revenue of $4.1 billion.

Rounding out the top 5 in 2010 were IBM (13.8% share, down slightly from a 14.3% slice the previous year), NetApp and HP (tied with 11.1% market shares) and Dell (9.1% share on 2010 revenue of almost $2 billion).

EMC posted impressive 2009—2010 revenue growth of 32.5%, but that was overshadowed by NetApp’s whopping 49.5% revenue growth. NetApp raked in $2.35 billion in 2010, vs. $1.57 billion in 2009.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see how HP’s acquisition of 3PAR, EMC's acquisition of Isilon, and Dell’s acquisition of Compellent will alter the market share dynamics and revenues.

Conspicuously absent from the top 5 in 2010 was Hitachi Data Systems. However, HDS did claw its way into the top 5 in the fourth quarter of 2010, ending the quarter in a virtual tie with Dell for the last spot. HDS garnered an 8.7% share in 4Q10 on revenue of $533 million vs. Dell’s 7.9% share on revenue of $483 million.

In the fourth quarter, EMC pulled in $1.58 billion for a 26% market share. That compares to a share of 23.9% in 4Q 2009 ($1.25 billion in revenue).

However, NetApp’s surge was again apparent in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company posted year-over-year revenue growth of 43.7% (vs. 26.3% for EMC), and closed the gap with HP on revenue of $630 million vs. HP’s $704 million.

Last year was a good one for the external disk systems market, which grew by 18.3% to top $21 billion.

Breaking down 4Q10 by market segments: the NAS market grew 41.3% year over year. EMC was #1 in NAS, followed by NetApp at 23.7%.

The iSCSI market posted equally impressive gains, growing 42.1% in 4Q10 vs. 4Q09. Dell was #1 in the iSCSI space with a 32.6% share, followed by HP (14.7%) and EMC (13.4%).

One more fun fact: EMC has been #1 in the external disk systems market for 14 consecutive years.

For more details, see IDC’s press release: “Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Finishes 2010 with Double-Digit Growth on Strong Fourth Quarter Results.”


posted by: Dave Simpson