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IDC: Storage market sees improvement

HP and IBM finished in a dead heat for the lead in overall storage revenue in the fourth quarter, with the industry as a whole doing better than expected, says market researcher IDC.

Hewlett-Packard and IBM finished in a dead heat for the lead in overall storage revenue in the fourth quarter, with the industry as a whole doing better than expected, according to market researcher IDC.

In the fourth quarter of 2002, sales in the overall storage market totaled $5.4 billion, up 12 percent from the third quarter. The improvement meant that, for the full year, the storage market saw a 15 percent decline in revenue, narrower than the 21 percent drop forecast by IDC.

"The fourth quarter's results were similar to what we have seen in the server market," John McArthur, IDC group vice president, said in a statement. "We expect to see a return to more normal seasonal changes as companies have already made their major adjustments to storage spending."

Both IBM and HP had 25 percent of the overall market in the fourth quarter. That marks a gain for IBM, which had 20 percent of the market in the third quarter, compared with 27 percent for HP.

EMC held the No. 3 spot, with 11 percent market share, up 1 percentage point from the prior quarter. Sun Microsystems, Dell Computer and Hitachi tied for the No. 4 spot, each with roughly 5 percent of the market.

As far as various segments of the storage market, the Storage Area Network (SAN) market outperformed the overall market, with 14 percent sequential growth from the third quarter. HP led that market with 28 percent of revenue, followed by EMC with 26 percent of sales.

The Network-attached Storage (NAS) market posted a weaker 4 percent sequential growth. Network Appliance held its No. 1 spot in that market, with 36 percent share, followed by EMC with 33 percent.

In the overall network storage market, which includes both SAN and NAS, EMC held the top spot, with 28 percent market share.

The storage market, which saw a number of fluctuations in market share during 2002, should see more of the same this year, IDC said.

"In 2003, vendors will continue to bring to market more compelling business and product strategies, including the introduction of new components and storage network technologies," Charlotte Rancourt, IDC research director, said in a statement. "As a consequence, we expect to see further fluctuation in vendor market share in 2003."