External disk sales spin down as firms turn off high-end storage

Latest figures from analyst IDC paint a picture of continued falling demand for high-end storage in the second quarter, which is now also affecting the mid-range.
Written by Toby Wolpe, Contributor

Spending on storage inched up in 2014's second quarter on the same period last year. But the small rise disguises a fall in the amount firms are spending on external disks.

The real picture for external storage systems is that second-quarter factory revenues worldwide were down 1.4 percent on the same period a year ago to $5.87bn.

Causing a modest 0.3 percent overall rise in revenues between second quarter 2014 and 2013 are strong internal storage sales in the Asia-Pacific region and emerging markets, analyst firm IDC said. Overall spending on storage reached $7.8bn in the second quarter this year.

According to IDC storage research director Eric Sheppard, high-end storage sales fell for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q2 2014.

"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" Sheppard said in a statement.

"Bright spots within the global storage market include growth from entry-level storage and increased sales in EMEA and Latin America."

Among the top five suppliers in the total disk storage market, HP in second place was the only one to gain share from second-quarter sales. It moved from 16.8 percent in 2013 to 17.5 percent, quarter on quarter, with a figure of $1.36bn.

The largest supplier, EMC, lost out. The vendor's share was down to 22.7 percent from 24 percent a year ago, a 5.2 percent decline in revenues that stood at $1.76bn, compared with $1.86bn in the same period last year.

Of the top five, Dell showed the biggest revenue decline in the quarter with a fall of 5.9 percent on Q2 2013. However, in the external storage market it fared relatively well, posting a one-percent fall. That figure contrasted with Hitachi's 12 percent decline in revenue from the external storage market, from $424m to $373m.

IDC defines a disk storage system as a set of storage elements, including controllers, cables, and, in some instances, host bus adapters, and three or more disks.

Vendor 2Q14 revenue 2Q14 market share 2Q13 revenue 2Q13 market share 2Q14/2Q13 revenue growth
1 EMC $1,764m 22.7% $1,860m 24.0% -5.2%
2 HP $1,361m 17.5% $1,300m 16.8% 4.7%
3 IBM $1,000m 12.9% $1,046m 13.5% -4.3%
4 Dell $887m 11.4% $943m 12.2% -5.9%
5 NetApp $765m 9.8% $789m 10.2% -3.0%
Others $2,004m 25.8%





$7,782m 100%


100% 0.3%

Top five vendors, worldwide total disk storage systems market, second quarter of 2014. Source: IDC 

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