A hard disk drive read/write head on a platter. Credit: Eric Gaba - Wikimedia Commons user: Sting
Worldwide data storage hardware sales saw a boon in the first quarter of this year, with a 41.4 percent leap over the same quarter in 2014.
In all, 28.3 exabytes (or 28 billion gigabytes) of capacity shipped out during the quarter, according to IDC's Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Market Update released today.
How much is an exabyte? It's one quintillion bytes or a one followed by 18 zeros. It's a lot.
According to IDC, worldwide enterprise storage systems vendor revenue grew 6.8 percent year over year during the first quarter, to almost $8.8 billion.
The robust quarter followed a busy end-of-year spending environment as the enterprise storage market "fell back into what has become a familiar market pattern.
"Spending on traditional external arrays fell during the quarter while demand for server-based storage and hyperscale infrastructure was up strongly," IDC said in its report.
"Hyperscale" refers to distributed infrastructures that support cloud and big data processing and can scale to thousands of servers.
The largest revenue growth occurred in the server market, where internal storage sales were up 23.3 percent. Internal storage sales benefited from healthy server sales and not just upgrades to existing server infrastructures. Storage systems that were sold directly to hyperscale or internal cloud data center users accounted for 12.6 percent of total spending in the quarter, up by 22.9 percent year over year.
Vendors leading the enterprise disk storage systems market followed a familiar pattern, with EMC in the top position with 17.4 percent of all spending, followed by HP, which had 14.6 percent of total market spending during the quarter.
Dell and NetApp accounted for 10.2 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.
"IBM's market share shrank to 6 percent during the quarter due largely to the sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo," IDC said.
External disk storage system revenue fell during the first quarter and was down by 0.6 percent to $5.6 billion year over year.
High-end storage array sales were up 1.3 percent from a year ago to $1.5 billion. IDC said the uptick represented a "reprieve from the protracted drop in sales the high-end market has been experiencing."
Entry-level storage sales grew by 1.1 percent to $1.4 billion, whereas midrange arrays, which accounted for the largest portion of the market, declined by 2.4 percent to $2.8 billion.
The most popular external storage arrays were all-flash models and hybrid flash arrays, which combine NAND flash with hard disk drives. All-flash and hybrid arrays drove the external storage market in the first quarter with 81.6 percent revenue growth ($403.1 million) and 9.1 percent ($2.5 billion) year-over-year growth, respectively.
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