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    Ethernet Storage Market Momentum

    Posted by David Dale

    Despite the recession of the past couple of years, the market for Ethernet Storage has shown grown significantly both in terms of equipment shipped and in terms of market share. Last week’s release by IDC of their Q42009 Worldwide Storage Systems Hardware Tracker, gave us an opportunity to see the latest numbers.

    For the purposes of classification, IDC calls networked storage (as opposed to direct-attached storage) “Fabric Attached Storage” – which consists of Fibre Channel SAN, iSCSI SAN and NAS.

    During 2009, Ethernet Storage revenues (NAS plus iSCSI) grew 51% year-over year to $5.372 billion, following a 5% decline in 2008. This compares with 25% revenue growth for the Fabric Attached Storage market as a whole, following a 17% decline in 2008. The revenue market share of Ethernet Storage climbed to 39% in 2009, up from 32% in 2008 and 28% in 2007.

    In terms of capacity shipped, the story is even better. During 2009, vendors shipped 2,829 PB of Ethernet Storage – 128% year-over year, following 22% growth in 2008. This compares with 105% capacity growth for the Fabric Attached Storage market as a whole, following 9% growth in 2008. The capacity market share of Ethernet Storage climbed to 47%, up from 42% in 2008 and 37% in 2007.

    The highest growth category of the whole sector was iSCSI, as has been the case for the past few years. In 2007 iSCSI SAN revenues grew by 62%; in 2008 we saw 26% growth (despite a recession which caused a 22% decline in FC SAN revenues); and in 2009 we saw 68% growth to $1.807 billion.

    So, what’s contributing to the steady growth in tough economic times? My take is that there are probably three factors:
    • Continuing maturity and acceptance of the technology
    • Companies’ willingness to try something new to reduce costs in tough economic times
    • The continued rapid growth of unstructured data driving NAS capacity.

    What’s your take?

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