Hewlett-Packard and IBM lead the marketplace in overall storage sales in a marketplace that grew 12 per cent sequentially in the fourth quarter, despite an overall slump for the year, IDC reported.
In 2002, storage sales - that totalled $US5.4 billion - dropped 15 per cent over 2001. This still beat IDC's prediction that sales would drop by 21 per cent for the year.
HP and IBM each garnered 25 per cent of sales in the quarter with $US1.37 billion and $US1.34 billion, respectively.
EMC was third with 11 per cent ($US505 million in sales), Sun Microsystems had 6 per cent ($US225 million) and Dell Computer ($US278 million) and Hitachi Data Systems ($US277 million) each grabbed 5 per cent of the storage market.
The 4Q sales jump was mainly due to companies loosening the purse strings at year's end, IDC analyst, Robert Gray, said.
"Most [chief financial officers] have been constraining their IT executives to stay below budget," Gray said. "These numbers seem to show that some of that constraint was lifted to deal with ongoing storage needs."
However, IDC does not expect the upswing to continue. Its forecast for this year is for a slight decline over 2002 sales.
HP maintained its No. 1 position in external storage sales with 21 per cent of the revenue in that market. IBM and EMC were second (17 per cent each). In the external RAID market, HP and EMC tied for the No. 1 position (19 per cent each).
While EMC touted the external RAID numbers as evidence that it has the clear lead in actual storage sales, IDC network storage analyst, Eric Sheppard, said users were clearly looking for vendors that could provide them with end-to-end sales and support.
Sheppard said that servers were clearly more important than ever before.
"Being able to provide both servers and storage as a solution is important," Sheppard said. "The total market is the most important market."
HP's success in the "total" storage market was directly related to its increased sales of networked arrays that Gray attributed to the company's acquisition of Compaq in 2002.
"One of crown jewels [HP] got in the Compaq acquisition was its StorageWorks division, the executives who ran it and their ability to execute," he said.
Still, EMC spokesman Greg Eden pointed to his company's success in networked storage, that represented 30 per cent of the marketplace.
"Networked storage is what customers are deploying more and more of these days," he said. "We're the only vendor in Q4 that has double-digit share in both [network-attached storage] and storage-area network market."