Global sales of external controller-based (ECB) disk storage -- or disk arrays -- for use in external cloud computing environments are on track to jump by more than half to $417.5 million in 2011 compared with $287.4 million in 2010, a gain of 56 percent, a new report projects.
Additionally, the report, by analyst firm Gartner, predicts revenues to grow to $1.45 billion in 2015.
Gartner uses the term "external cloud" to mean any public, private or hybrid cloud that is offered by a third-party provider that services multiple customers.
To date, ECB disk storage used in external cloud deployments makes up only a small percentage of the overall ECB storage market -- just 1.4 percent, Gartner estimates.http://o1.qnsr.com/log/p.gif?;n=203;c=204655439;s=10655;x=7936;f=201806121855330;u=j;z=TIMESTAMP;a=20400368;e=i
However, the analyst firm expects that segment to grow significantly faster than the rest of that market because many external cloud deployments are still early in the build-out phase.
That's causing somewhat of a land rush as various ECB storage players maneuver for position as the market ripens.
"As external cloud computing emerges as a new segment of the storage market, competition is increasing with leading commercial ECB disk storage vendors developing or acquiring technologies that will serve as a good fit for external cloud deployments," Sid Deshpande, senior research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.
To date, the largest consumers of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) have been mostly smaller organizations, although software-as-a-service (SaaS) has been gaining traction in the last year and a half as well.
"We believe the SaaS providers offer the largest cloud opportunity for ECB disk storage vendors in the short term, as many software service vendors lack a hardware portfolio and may lack the resources to develop their own infrastructure hardware," Pushan Rinnen, research director at Gartner, said in a statement.
"The external private cloud infrastructure market is still in a nascent stage, with hosting providers largely looking to leverage their existing large-enterprise customer base for early customer wins," the statement added.
Gartner's report is entitled, "Forecast: External Cloud Opportunity for the Disk Storage Array Market, Worldwide, 2010-2015."