Grim outlook for ECB disk storage market: Gartner

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 21, 2013


The global external controller-based (ECB) disk storage vendor revenue totaled $6.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 1.9 per cent increase from revenue of $5.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Gartner. 

“The fourth quarter 2012 results represent the 13th consecutive quarter of revenue growth, said Roger Cox, research vice president at Gartner. However, he mentions that the weak year-over-year 1.9 per cent growth is a reflection of the grim macroeconomics in North America and in Europe, as well as a slowing economy in the Asia/Pacific region. 

EMC was the market leader with a 34.2 per cent revenue growth, followed by IBM (16.2 per cent) and NetApp (10.6 per cent) in the fourth quarter of 2012. EMC gained share with its fit-for-purpose VNX, VMAX and Data Domain platforms, as well as the accretive influence of the Isilon acquisition. After a couple of spotty quarters, and with most its platform portfolio (FAS2000/FAS3000) refreshed, coupled with improving traction of its clustered Data ONTAP operating system, NetApp realized above-market results. With best-in-class year-over-year revenue growth performance, the high-end VSP remained Hitachi/HDS’s primary strength with 9.4 per cent revenue growth. 

Dell, HP and IBM continue to underperform the market and lose share as their new product year-over-year revenue gains are insufficient to offset the year-over-year decline of the products being replaced. Moreover, Dell may be suffering from organizational and structural issues that are hampering sales. HP continues to struggle with balancing the decline in what it classifies as “traditional storage” with its growing “converged” go-to-market model. IBM’s strategy of emphasizing its IP-based disk storage products is gaining traction, but is not yet strong enough to offset declines in technology sourced from NetApp. 

For the year, worldwide disk storage vendor revenue totaled $22.3 billion in 2012, a 4.9 per cent increase from revenue of $21.2 billion in 2011. Only EMC and Hitachi/HDS topped the market, but NetApp and Dell did achieve year-over-year revenue gains. Dell was stronger in the first half of 2012, while NetApp came on strong in the second half of 2012. Although pricing per terabyte continues to decline as expected, the average selling price (ASP) per unit increased 6.8 per cent in 2012, signaling larger configurations. 

Gartner analysts believe that on the whole, the ECB disk storage market will continue to have a grim outlook throughout 2013 with slight growth coming from new products and managed services.