Storage Market Slows -

Storage Market Slows

The storage market slowed in the second quarter from its strong growth rate, but will likely pick up again in the second half of the year, according to a report by Robert W. Baird & Co.

Baird's latest enterprise VAR survey found a "modestly weak demand environment" for the second quarter, but the pipeline bodes well for the third and fourth quarters, according to Baird analysts Daniel Renouard, Frank Timons and Joel Inman.

One factor contributing to the weaker than normal second quarter — and the bright second-half forecast — is the price war between Intel and AMD, which the analysts said is pushing demand into the third quarter from the second quarter. Half of the VARs believed that the forthcoming aggressive pricing pushed out demand in the quarter.

The analysts said the survey's findings were most positive for HP, which had by far its best scores since the Compaq merger. Also faring well was EMC, which bested weak expectations in the quarter. VARs also see a strong second half for EMC.

Network Appliance and IBM also received high marks in the survey. The analysts said NetApp should continue to deliver 25% growth for the next few years. IBM, meanwhile, gained much of its momentum in the quarter from server sales.

The survey was also positive on component vendors Emulex, QLogic, Brocade and McData, while Sun and Dell continued to face challenges. Dell may have been hurt by a lack of AMD-based offerings, while Sun is seeing some renewed interest.

The survey, which looked at 59 VARs around the globe accounting for $10 billion in annual sales, found that 95% of VARs viewed the second quarter as on or below plan, results the analyst said "appear slightly below typical seasonal softness." But most vendors expects a strong second half.

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