It was a merry holiday season for companies selling external disk storage systems, according to a report, with worldwide factory revenues up 2.4 per cent to US$6.9 billion in the last three months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.

The report issued Friday by IDC said the total market for both internal and external storage systems was up 1.8 per cent, to US$8.8 billion, in Q4 compared to the same period the year before.

More importantly, internal/external storage system sales were up 17.2 per cent over the third quarter of 2013.

Not surprisingly, with constant news reports that corporate data is growing like wheat, total disk storage systems capacity shipped surpassed 10.2 exabytes, growing 26.2 per cent year over year.

“The disk storage systems market was able to break free of recent headwinds due to traditional year-end budget flushes, improved economic sentiment, and a strong desire to address long-standing storage infrastructure inefficiencies,” said Eric Sheppard, IDC’s storage research director.

“Industry stakeholders able to capitalize the most on this demand were often those with recent product refreshes and strong go-to-market initiatives targeted at integrated infrastructure and storage optimization.”

For total worldwide disk storage systems in Q4, EMC had 25.8 per cent of the market with US$2.27 billion in sales, followed by Hewlett-Packard was second with 16.3 per cent of the market and US$.144 billion in sales, IBM with 14 per cent of the market and US$1.24 billion in sales, Dell with 9.9 per cent of the market and $875 million in sales and NetApp with 9 per cent of the market from US$791 million in sales.

Among external disk storage vendors, EMC had the biggest year over year share gains during the quarter, improving its market share to 32.9 per cent from 30.7 per cent with revenue of US$2.2 billion. IBM was second with 13 per cent and US$901 million in sales, followed by NetApp at 11.5 per cent and US$791 million, Hewlett-Packard with 9.6 per cent of the market and Hitachi with 8.1 per cent.

The total open networked disk storage market (NAS combined with non-mainframe SAN) grew by 4 per cent year over year to almost US$6 billion in revenue. EMC maintained its leadership in the total open networked storage market with 35.6 per cent revenue share, followed by NetApp’s 13.3 per cent and IBM’s 12.1 per cent revenue share.

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