Sharing Bragging Rights

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IDC’s Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker produced a number of statistical dead heats for the fourth quarter of 2002, allowing more than one company to claim that they were top dog. So claim they did.

HP and IBM tied statistically for the number one position, with 25% revenue share each. So each put out a press release claiming that they were the market leaders.

“IBM Climbs to Top in Disk Storage Systems,” trumpeted an IBM press release. “HP Leads Market in Worldwide Disk Storage Systems,” said an HP release. Both went on to say in their releases that they had tied for the top spot.

The good news is that the market remains large enough for everyone.

Worldwide disk storage systems factory revenue was $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter, up 12% sequentially from the third quarter, according to IDC. With the strong sequential growth, revenue for the entire year was better than expected, declining only 15% from 2001 instead of the forecasted decline of 21%.

“The fourth quarter’s results were similar to what we have seen in the server market,” said John McArthur, group vice president of Storage Research at IDC. “We expect to see a return to more normal seasonal changes as companies have already made their major adjustments to storage spending.”

Competition continued to be fierce during the quarter. In addition to the HP and IBM tie at the top, there was a three-way statistical tie for the number four position between Sun Microsystems, Dell and Hitachi. IBM was the fastest-growing of the top six in the fourth quarter, with 34% sequential growth from the third quarter. EMC, which slipped from second place in 2001 to third place last year, grew 22% sequentially, while Sun had a 17% sequential growth rate.

In the total external storage system market, revenue increased 12% sequentially in the fourth quarter. HP maintained its number one position with 21% revenue market share. IBM and EMC tied for second, with 17% revenue share each. There was a similar scenario in the total external RAID market, where HP and EMC tied for the number one position, each with 19% of the revenue share. So EMC, of course, put out a release claiming the top spot in that market.

“In 2003, [storage] vendors will continue to bring to market more compelling business and product strategies, including the introduction of new components and storage network technologies,” said Charlotte Rancourt, research director in IDC’s Disk Storage Systems program. “As a consequence, we expect to see further fluctuation in vendor market share in 2003.”

The Open SAN market outperformed the overall market, with 14% sequential growth from the third quarter. The NAS market didn’t fare as well, but managed to post a still-healthy 4% sequential growth rate. In the Open SAN market, HP led with 28% revenue share, followed by EMC with 26% share. In the NAS market, Network Appliance maintained its number one position with 36% share, followed by EMC with 33%. EMC continues to maintain its leadership in the total network storage market (NAS combined with Open SAN) with 28% revenue share.

For the full year, HP (reported as the combined entity of Compaq and HP from the second quarter going forward) edged out IBM for the number one position with 21% revenue share for the total disk storage systems market. IBM and Dell posted the largest year-over-year growth among the top 5 vendors, with 15% and 13% growth, respectively.

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Factory Revenue, Fourth Quarter 2002

(Revenues are in Millions)

Vendor Q4 2002
Q3 2002
Revenue Growth
HP $1,372 25% $1,293 27% 6%
IBM $1,340 25% $1,000 21% 34%
EMC $614 11% $505 10% 22%
Sun Microsystems $297 6% $255 5% 17%
Dell $287 5% $278 6% 3%
Hitachi $258 5% $277 6% -7%
Others $1,233 23% $1,206 25% 2%
All Vendors $5,402 100% $4,814 100% 12%

NOTE: Data for Hewlett-Packard includes revenue for both Hewlett-Packard and Compaq.

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Factory Revenue, Full Year 2002

(Revenues are in Millions)

Vendor 2002
Revenue Growth
HP $4,283 21% $1,790 8% 139%
IBM $3,994 20% $3,473 15% 15%
EMC $2,382 12% $3,803 16% -37%
Sun Microsystems $1,276 6% $1,365 6% -7%
Dell $1,086 5% $959 4% 13%
Hitachi $1,069 5% $1,559 7% -31%
Compaq $997 5% $4,381 19% -77%
Others $4,867 24% $6,168 26% -21%
All Vendors $19,954 100% $23,499 100% -15%

NOTE: Hewlett-Packard and Compaq are combined Q2 2002 to Q4 2002. Compaq is separate in Q1 2002.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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