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Mar 15 2016

IDC: Enterprise Storage Market Loses in Q4, But Wins in 2015

Market researchers at the International Data Corporation (IDC) have finished their analysis of worldwide storage sales for the period from October to December as well as the entire year. The results reveal a shift away from standard technologies towards server-based, software-defined and cloud solutions. Also among the rising stars were original design manufacturers (ODMs) – companies that build systems for the growing group of hyperscale data centers and deliver directly to their customers.

In detail, IDC's findings are as follows:

  • Total worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue dropped 2.2% in Q4/15 compared to the same period of the previous year, clocking in at $10.4 billion. By contrast, total shipments went up 10.7% to an enormous 35.5 exabytes. Results from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker show that practically all 'household names' experienced substantial decreases: EMC, while maintaining its first position, saw revenues fall by 5.2% to $2.23 billion; its market share went from 22.2 to 21.5%. Dell and IBM both ended up in third place and a statistical tie (i.e. the difference between their respective market shares amounted to less than 1%, according to IDC). More specifically, Dell's revenue declined by 3.3% to roughly $921 million; its market share was at 8.9%. IBM lost 5% in revenues, arriving at $893 million and 8.6%. NetApp came in a distant fifth, losing $113 million or nearly 15% in revenue; sales reached $651 million, making for a market share of 6.3%. The one great exception was Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE), whose revenue and market share increased by 7.9 and 1.4% respectively, to $1.57 billion and 15.1%.
  • Figures for the entire year show pretty much the same ranking, while the results per firm sometimes deviate massively from the ones cited above. As one might expect, EMC's top spot goes undisputed – the company earned $7.13 billion (- 450 million) between January and December and took a 19.2% market share (down 1.6%). HPE revenues grew 12.6% from $5.13 billion to $5.8 billion, accounting for a market share of 15.5% (plus 1.4%). Dell remained mostly stable, a revenue decrease of 0.6% to $3.6 billion means it lost 0.3% of its previous market share, arriving at 9.7%. The biggest loser was IBM, whose enterprise storage business nosedived by roughly one quarter, from $3.55 billion to $2.73 billion in revenues and 9.8% to 7.3% in market share. NetApp also suffered substantial losses, but compared with IBM, a 14.3% revenue decline from $3.13 billion to $2.7 billion and a 1.4% loss in market shares (now at 7.2%) appear almost manageable.
  • Direct sales from ODMs show distinctly different results for the fourth quarter and the entire year. Quarter figures were down 14.4% compared to Q4/2014, sliding from $1.36 billion to $1.16 billion; ODM market shares fell from 12.8% to 11.2%. However, throughout 2015 their business moved in the upward direction: sales reached $4.56 billion (+11.9%), which means they bit off a 12.3% chunk of the market (+1.1%).

Technically speaking, external storage systems remained the largest market segment, but the $7.0 billion in sales represented a 2.3% year-over-year decline. Sales of server-based storage were up 6.1% during the quarter and accounted for $2.2 billion in revenue.

For more information, please see the IDC press release.


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