Worldwide Enterprise Storage Market Sees Decline in Fourth Quarter, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--()--Total worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue was down 6.7% year over year while reaching $11.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker. Total capacity shipments were up 18.3% year over year to 52.4 exabytes during the quarter.

Revenue growth increased within the group of original design manufacturers (ODMs) that sell directly to hyperscale datacenters. This portion of the market was up 3.2% year over year to $1.2 billion. Sales of server-based storage declined 7.8% during the quarter and accounted for $3.4 billion in revenue. External storage systems remained the largest market segment, but the $6.4 billion in sales represented a year-over-year decline of 7.8%.

It should be noted that the size of the server-based storage market has been updated this quarter to reflect a change to IDC's enterprise storage systems taxonomy. IDC's new methodology for sizing the server-based storage market is now more inclusive than in the past, thus increasing the size of the market in terms of value, systems shipped, and capacity consumed. Changes to the server-based storage market have been applied retroactively to ensure continuity with past quarters.

"2016 represented a year of considerable change for the enterprise storage systems market," said Liz Conner, research manager, Storage Systems. "While the broader enterprise storage systems market has been impacted by headwinds, companies continue to increase their investments in several key areas, such as software-defined storage, cloud-based storage, all flash storage systems, and converged systems. As a result, traditional enterprise storage vendors have aligned their portfolios to meet the shifting demands."

4Q16 External Enterprise Storage Systems Results, by Vendor Group

Dell Technologies was the largest external enterprise storage systems supplier during the quarter, accounting for 32.9% of worldwide revenues. HPE, IBM, and NetApp finished in a statistical tie* for the number 2 position with 10.2%, 10.1% and 10.0% of market share, respectively. HPE's share and year-over-year growth rate includes revenues from the H3C joint venture in China that began in May of 2016; as a result, the reported HPE/New H3C Group combines storage revenue for both companies globally. Hitachi rounded out the top 5 with revenue share of 7.0%.

Top 5 Vendors Groups, Worldwide External Enterprise Storage Systems Market, Fourth Quarter of 2016 (Revenues are in Millions)
Vendor Groups       4Q16 Revenue       4Q16Market Share       4Q15 Revenue       4Q15 Market Share       4Q16/4Q15 Revenue Growth
1. Dell Technologiesa       $2,124.9       32.9%       $2,570.3       36.8%       -17.3%
T2. HPE/New H3C Group*b       $656.5       10.2%       $706.5       10.1%       -7.1%
T2. IBM*       $653.8       10.1%       $791.4       11.3%       -17.4%
T2. NetApp*       $642.0       10.0%       $650.9       9.3%       -1.4%
5. Hitachi       $451.6       7.0%       $532.0       7.6%       -15.1%
Others       $1,920.0       29.8%       $1,741.8       24.9%       10.2%
All Vendors       $6,499.0       100.0%       $6,992.9       100.0%       -7.8%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker, March 3, 2016

* – IDC declares a statistical tie in the worldwide enterprise storage systems market when there is less than one percent difference in the revenue share of two or more vendors.
a – Dell Technologies represents the combined revenues for Dell and EMC.
b – Due to the existing joint venture between HPE and the New H3C Group, IDC will be reporting external market share on a global level for HPE as "HPE/New H3C Group" starting from 2Q 2016 and going forward.

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing the worldwide market share of the top 5 vendors plus ODM Direct sales in the total external enterprise storage systems market over the previous five quarters is available here. Instructions on how to embed this graphic into online news articles and social media can be found by viewing this press release on

Flash-Based Storage Systems Highlights

The total All Flash Array (AFA) market generated almost $1.7 billion in revenue during the quarter, up 61.2% year over year. The Hybrid Flash Array (HFA) segment of the market continues to be a significant part of the overall market with $2.5 billion in revenue and 38.4% market share.

Taxonomy Notes
IDC defines an enterprise storage system (ESS) as a set of storage elements used to provide persistent data storage resources including power supplies, cooling, system enclosures, storage controllers, system cabling & external connections, and storage media (HDDs and/or flash). An enterprise storage system may be located outside of or within an application server. IDC excludes storage networking (e.g., FC switches) and non-bundled storage software when sizing the enterprise storage systems market.

The information in this quantitative study is based on a branded view of the disk storage systems sale. Revenue associated with the products to the end user is attributed to the seller (brand) of the product, not the manufacturer. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales are not included in this study. In this study, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) sales do not reflect their OEM sales to Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard.

IDC's Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker is a quantitative tool for analyzing the global disk storage market on a quarterly basis. The Tracker includes quarterly shipments and revenues (both customer and factory), Terabytes, $/Gigabyte, Gigabyte/Unit, and Average Selling Value. Each criteria can be segmented by location, installation base, operating system, vendor, family, model, and region.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker, please contact Lidice Fernandez at 305-351-3051 or

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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Liz Conner, 508-988-6993
Eric Sheppard, 508-988-7925
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200

Release Summary

Total worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue was down 6.7% year over year while reaching $11.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to IDC.


Liz Conner, 508-988-6993
Eric Sheppard, 508-988-7925
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200