If you want to make money in the storage market, don't sell storage by the terabyte, sell it by the zettabyte - that's the lesson from the latest quarterly storage sales by vendor from the analysts IDC. It seems that this is one area where size really does matter.
While, according to IDC, the "worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue" grew by a modest, but encouraging 2.1 per cent year over year to $8.8bn in the second quarter of 2015, the market for very large "hyperscale" systems jumped by 25.8 per cent to $1bn.
In addition, sales of server-based storage systems were up 10 percent in the quarter, accounting for $2.1bn in revenue. While external storage systems "remained the largest market segment", according to IDC, its $5.7bn in sales in the second quarter represented a 3.9 percent year-over-year decline. However, total capacity shipments were up 37 percent year over year to 30.3 exabytes during the quarter.
EMC finished in the top position within the total worldwide enterprise storage systems market, accounting for 19.2 percent of all revenues in 2Q15. HP held the number 2 position with 16.2 percent and Dell accounted for 10.1 percent of global spending.
"As a collective group", storage systems sales by original design manufacturers (ODMs), "selling directly to hyperscale datacenter customers accounted for 11.5 percent of global spending during the quarter," IDC said in a statement.
"Companies are increasingly using new project initiatives and infrastructure refresh as an opportunity to deploy new storage technologies that are able to drive cost and complexity out of their existing storage resources," said Eric Sheppard, research director for storage at IDC. "This is pushing critical investment dollars towards technologies like cloud-based storage, integrated systems, software-defined storage, and flash-optimized storage systems at the expense of traditional external arrays."
EMC was also the largest external storage systems supplier during the quarter with 29.9 percent of worldwide revenue while IBM, NetApp, and HP finished the quarter in a statistical tie for second with only 0.6 of a percentage point separating them. The three vendors ended the quarter with 11.1 percent, 10.9 percent, and 10.5 percent of the market, respectively.
Further down the list, Dell and Hitachi were also in a statistical tie with revenues of 6.6 percent and 6.5 percent.
The total open networked disk storage market (NAS and non-mainframe SAN) generated $5 billion in revenue during the quarter. EMC maintained its leadership in the total open networked storage market with 32.4 percent while NetApp sat in second place with 12.3 percent.