Enterprises spend more on high-end systems to refresh aging mission-critical systems
The overall external disk storage systems (EDSS) factory revenues in Western Europe grew 6% over last year to $1.27bn in the second quarter, according to the EMEA Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker from International Data Corporation (IDC).
However, the second quarter revenues were 5% down compared to the first quarter in dollar terms, due to the closure of some huge deals registered in the first quarter of the year, as well as strong post-crisis spending as enterprises upgraded their data storage infrastructure.
IDC European Storage Group research director Donna Taylor said enterprises continued to spend even more on high-end systems as they refreshed their aging mission-critical systems, deployed new platforms to drive enterprisewide consolidation projects, and enhanced disaster recovery plans.
There was growing underlying demand for high-end disk storage platforms virtually across all markets in Western Europe, despite economic concerns and underperforming peripheral European economies, IDC said.
Driven by very large deployments, enterprises spent 18% more dollars on systems priced $250,000 or above compared with last year, out of which traditional mission-critical systems such as EMC’s Symmetrix, HDS’ VSP, HP XP, and IBM’s DS8000 family registered over 14% dollar value growth.
Demand for overall midrange configurations (priced between $25,000 and $250,000) experienced a decline as demand shifted to higher-end and lower midrange products, indicating polarisation in the marketplace.
While the total midrange category declined 3% over last year, sales of systems priced between $25,000 and $50,000 were 18% higher in the second quarter than a year before, as demand for upper midrange disk storage between $100,000 and $250,000 fell 31% over the period, IDC said.
Entry-level disk storage systems priced at $10,000 performed well, while the sub-$25,000 category generated 12% more dollar revenue, and systems between $5,000 and $15,000 grew 25% year over year.
The EMEA storage marketplace was dominated by EMC and NetApp, while HP, IBM, and Dell all underperformed both the market leaders and their own performance a year earlier.
EMC lead over NetApp as it did especially well in the high-end market segment (systems selling for $250,000 or more), as enterprises demanded even more performance and capacity with high availability and enhanced data protection and security features.
Although NetApp registered lower overall growth rates than EMC, it did an especially outstanding job in the midrange price bands, winning further market share over its competitors in big chunks, IDC said.
HP and IBM were in third and fourth place, respectively, while Dell registered mid-teen declines and lost its fifth place.
The big winner of the quarter is Hitachi Data Systems, with the ongoing success of the high-end Virtual Storage Platform, while HDS poses a serious challenge to IBM and EMC in the mission-critical storage space.
The EDSS market in the UK, Germany, and Italy remained flat year over year compared with Q2 2010 and declined single-digit seasonally.
IDC believes that this figure is a result of a high base in both the second quarter last year and the first quarter this year, rather than a sign of weakness in the underlying demand, or it is connected to the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
Among the major markets, France, the Nordics, and Switzerland did especially well. France performed very strongly across all price bands, while the Nordics and Switzerland had real strength in high-end and lower midrange systems.
The burden of the sovereign debt crisis has affected the PIGS markets (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) as these economies depend greatly on the public sector and a few larger enterprises, IDC said.