Australia is the second biggest market for storage systems within the Asia Pacific region. Market growth in 2011 is likely to be in the range of 55 per cent, according to Gartner. One factor that definitely influences purchasing is movement in the competitive landscape, specifically mergers, acquisitions and partnerships, which change often. Gartner predicts storage consolidation will continue as a larger portfolio of vendors attempt to add strategic functionality to their offerings. Following is a roundup of market changes involving the biggest players.
Enterprise storage buyer's guide:
EMC has undertaken a number of significant acquisitions, beginning with Data General in 1999 and, more recently, Data Domain and Isilon. In 2010 EMC acquired Isilon Systems, a scale-out NAS solution that can be optimised for high transaction rates, bandwidth or near-line storage needs.
Sun Microsystems' acquisition of StorageTek followed by Oracle's buyout Sun certainly impacted the storage market. It makes Oracle one of the largest tape storage vendors in the market today.
Dell has also been busy in the storage market acquiring Equallogic and Compellent. The company also picked up compression technology with its purchase of Ocarina Networks.
HP acquired 3PAR in 2010. The 3PAR solution competes against high-end monolithic frame-based disk arrays. HP also acquired LeftHand Networks which has iSCSI-only solutions that target first time SAN users and smaller storage requirements.
IBM’s XIV buy targets smaller, high end storage systems. The XIV supports both Fibre Channel and iSCSI protocols. Last year IBM shipped nearly 200 XIV’s, which accounted for nine per cent of IBM’s revenue in the Asia Pacific.
NetApp has acquired Spinnaker and Engenio while Fujitsu has picked up Toshiba’s HDD business.
Other significant movements in the market include Seagate’s acquisition of Maxtor and Western Digital’s purchase of Hitachi’s HDD business (which Hitachi had previously acquired from IBM).
These are just a few of the more important examples of continued consolidation in the storage sector. Partnerships are also important; one good example is the Cisco-EMC relationship.
According to Gartner the top eight storage vendors are EMC, IBM, HP, NetApp, Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi Data Systems and Oracle. Gartner advises using dual vendor strategies to ameliorate the risks of vendor consolidation, and to include emerging vendors in provider shortlists.