8 September 2004 Worldwide sales of external storage systems grew to $3.5 billion from $3.2 billion in 2003, an increase of 8%, according to a report by research analyst company IDC.
Demand for networked storage has driven the growth, as organisations move away from directly attached devices.
IDC reported that EMC continues to outsell its rivals, with 21% of the market. Hewlett-Packard (HP), IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hitachi Data Systems all follow. Between them, these vendors account for nearly three-quarters of storage sales.
“Leading suppliers are expanding their product offerings to help bring lower cost networked storage solutions to a broader market, and this investment appears to be bearing fruit,” said Brad Nisbet, programme manager of disk storage research at IDC.
And competition in the storage market is increasing. IDC noted that Dell and Network Appliance posted the largest rises in market share.
IDC highlights the continued growth in demand for storage, as businesses find ever-greater volumes of data that needs storing. Total storage capacity shipped during the quarter rose to 275 petabytes – up 40% year on year. The volume of data in a single petabyte is equivalent to 20 million four-drawer filing cabinets, stuffed with paper.
The report results are slightly more optimistic than those published by research analyst firm Gartner Dataquest. Gartner estimated that global sales of external disk storage systems grew 5.1% during the second quarter of 2004.