Worldwide sales of external disk storage systems fell 1.4 percent in the second quarter (2Q14), according to IT market research firm IDC. All told, data storage vendors generated $5.86 billion in revenues during 2Q14, compared to $5.95 billion in the same year-ago period.
IDC Storage research director Eric Sheppard observed that the prolonged drop in demand for top-tier enterprise storage systems is starting to trickle down.
"High-end storage sales fell for the fourth consecutive quarter in 2Q14," he said in a statement. "The high-end decline was not as striking as last quarter but it was coupled with a drop in midrange sales, suggesting weak demand is spreading to other parts of the market."
Vendors are feeling the pinch. In July, storage giant EMC reported that sales of its high-end storage hardware dropped 14 percent to $1.03 billion during 2Q14 as customers waited for the company to start shipping its refreshed VMAX3 lineup.
IDC's evaluation of the external disk storage systems market reveal some interesting results.
Predictably, EMC is the market leader with $1.76 billion in sales, but NetApp and IBM were locked in a statistical tie for second place with shares of 13.0 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively. HP took fourth place with 10.1 percent of the market while Dell (7.2 percent) and Hitachi (6.4 percent) claimed fifth place in another statistical tie, said IDC.
Sales of networked disk storage systems ($5.1 billion), classified as network-attached storage (NAS) and non-mainframe storage area networks (SAN) by IDC, declined 1.2 percent year-over-year.
The total disk storage systems market, which includes both internal and external systems, reached $7.8 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 0.3 percent year-over-year gain. Strong sales of internal storage systems in the Asia/Pacific region and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) helped the industry eke out some gains.
As usual, Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC is the company to beat.
In terms of total disk storage systems revenues, EMC claimed first place with $1.76 billion in sales, followed by HP with $1.36 billion. IBM took the number three spot with an even $1 while Dell and NetApp rounded out the top five with $887 million and $765 million, respectively.
Storage vendors shipped 11.5 exabytes in disk storage system capacity during the quarter. "Growth of new capacity consumption improved during the quarter, but the 23.9 percent year-over-year growth was still relatively low by historic comparisons," noted IDC.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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