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HP gains top spot in disk storage revenues

According to the latest numbers from research firm IDC, Hewlett-Packard was the top earner in the disk storage systems market last quarter. HP was followed by IBM, EMC, Dell and Hitachi.

The winds of change may have swept Hewlett-Packard into the top spot in revenue among disk storage system makers, but Framingham, Mass.-based research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) said the cloudy future does not necessarily have a silver lining. An economic rebound in the disk storage systems market is a long way off.

Still, the competition is fierce. In fact, IDC said that during the last quarter there were a number of market leadership changes. Network Appliance Inc. took the lead in the network-attached storage (NAS) storage market with 38% revenue share, while EMC Corp., the leader for the past several quarters, dropped to second place with 31% share. In the open storage area network (SAN) storage market, HP edged out EMC for the No. 1 position with 30% revenue share, while EMC followed with 27% share. However, while HP leads in SANs and NetApp tops the NAS market, EMC continues to maintain its leadership overall in the network storage market with 28% revenue share, IDC said.

According to IDC, worldwide disk storage systems factory revenue was down slightly in the third quarter of 2002. Revenues reached $4.7 billion, down 3% compared with the second quarter of 2002, according to IDC's latest research.

IDC said the NAS and open SAN storage market declined more in revenue than the overall market, 10% and 6%.

IDC said that, overall, HP maintains its total storage revenue leadership with 27% share, followed by IBM Corp. with 20% share. IDC said that Hitachi Ltd. and IBM had the strongest sequential quarterly revenue growth, with 23% and 7% respectively.

John McArthur, group vice president of storage research at IDC, said HP achieved the top spot when it acquired Compaq but extended that lead even further in the third quarter of 2002.

McArthur said networked storage continued to overtake direct-attached revenues in the third quarter.

"We think that customers took advantage of the cost-effective scalability of installed SAN and NAS solutions. While the initial cost of a SAN implementation may be higher than direct-attached storage, the upgrades can often be much cheaper," McArthur said. "The growth in capacity of SAN and NAS outpaced the overall market."

IBM was quick to point out that it has surpassed EMC's factory revenues for the first time. The company said the newly revamped Enterprise Storage Server, code-named Shark, caused revenue to jump.

The total external storage market, which is made up of networked storage plus direct-attached storage, declined 5% sequentially to $3.2 billion in the third quarter from the previous quarter. HP maintains it leadership with 22% revenue share, followed by EMC and IBM with 15.8% and 14.6% share. Let us know what you think about the story. E-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer


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