News Stay informed about the latest enterprise technology news and product updates.

Storage revenue picked up in Q4, led by ODMs and smaller vendors

Storage revenue rebounded in the fourth quarter of 2014, no thanks to the large vendors.

Total storage revenue grew 7.2 percent to nearly $10.6 billion and external (networked) storage increased 3.4 percent to $7.15 billion, according to IDC’s worldwide quarterly disk storage tracker.

For the year, storage spending rose 3.6 percent to $36.2 billion and total capacity increased 43 percent to 99.2 exabytes.

That comes despite a year-over-year decline of nearly seven percent in overall storage spending in the first quarter of 2014, and two quarters of external storage declines during the year.

No. 1 EMC’s revenue growth of 3.3 percent to $2.35 billion decreased its market share from 23.1 percent to 22.2 percent in overall storage from a year ago. No. 2 Hewlett-Packard increased revenue 4.8 percent to $1.46 billion but its share dropped from 14.1 percent to 13.8 percent. No. 3 Dell increased revenue 5.2 percent to $952 million. That put Dell barely above IBM, whose revenue dropped 23.8 percent to $951 million. Dell and IBM each had nine percent market share. No. 5 NetApp’s revenue also declined 3.5 percent and its market share dropped from eight percent to 7.2 percent at $764 million.

So how did the market grow if the combined revenue of the top five vendors declined? Smaller vendors (IDC’s “Others” category) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) who sell directly to hyper-scale data centers led the rally.

Other vendors increased 20.2 percent to $2.74 million and increased share from 23.1 percent to 25.9 percent. ODMs increased revenue by 39.4 percent to $1.36 billion and grew market share from 9.9 percent to 12.8 percent.

In external storage, EMC grew 3.3 percent to $2.35 billion to remain at 32.9 percent market share. No. 2 IBM dropped 7.2 percent year-over-year to $837 million to fall from 13 percent to 11.7 percent share and No. 3 NetApp decreased 3.5 percent to $764 million. No. 4 HP grew 3.3 percent to $689 million and 9.6 percent share. HDS’ 3.5 percent increase to $577 million left it at 8.1 percent share. The revenue from other storage vendors increased 12.3 percent to $1.93 billion and jumped from 24.9 percent to 27 percent market share.

IDC research director Eric Sheppard attributed the fourth-quarter growth to year-end seasonality, demand for mid-range systems with flash capacity and hyper-scale data center storage.

Dell led in total storage capacity shipped during the year at 10.85 exabytes, followed by HP with 9.98 exabytes and EMC with 9.96 exabytes.