Sales of disk storage systems continue to slide [Austin American-Statesman]
(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 06--Computer users keep generating more data, but sales of disk storage systems have been anemic so far this year.
Global shipments of hard-disk storage systems totaled $7.7 billion in the second quarter, down 5 percent from a year ago, according to International Data Corp., a market research firm that tracks tech markets.
The slowdown in storage shipments was comparable to the 6.2 percent decline in servers, which IDC reported last week.
Storage and servers are two of the staples for business and government data center expansions.
Eric Sheppard, IDC's research director for storage, said market demand was uneven. Emerging markets still showed increased demand for storage systems in the latest quarter, while mature markets, including North America, Western Europe and Japan, showed less demand.
"This reduced demand is creating a very competitive environment and a general deterioration in pricing, which seems to worsen market conditions," he said. Despite fewer dollars being spent on storage, the amount of storage capacity being shipped increased, thanks to improvements in technology.
Sheppard cites several factors for the apparent storage industry slump -- a soft global economy, an increased emphasis on squeezing more efficiency from existing systems; new storage technologies being used and new kinds of customers, such as "hyper-scale computing" companies, some of which build their own storage systems.
He adds one more factor -- many customers have been waiting for new products from the leading storage vendors, EMC Corp. and NetApp Inc. Because those new products have just been announced, he expects an uptake in storage shipments in the second half of the year.
EMC, the market leader, shipped nearly $1.9 billion in storage systems in the quarter, up 2.1 percent from a year ago. It was followed by Hewlett-Packard Co., with $1.3 billion, down 16.5 percent; and IBM Corp., $1.05 billion, down 17.1 percent. Dell Inc. ranked fourth with $968 million in shipments in the quarter, up 4.8 percent.
Many of Dell's storage systems are shipped inside its servers, a product category where the Round Rock company is outperforming the market.
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