The external disk storage systems market value in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) recorded a slight recovery from the previous quarter, growing 1,7% annually in 3Q13 to $1,68-billion, according to the latest EMEA Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker from International Data Corporation (IDC).

Capacity rose 24,9% to 1.8 exabytes and revenue reached €1,28-billion, a year-on-year decrease of 2,6%.

In the third quarter, storage shipments in Western Europe registered an increase in value, up 6,4% year on year. This was mainly driven by a good performance in major markets such as the UK and Germany. On the other hand, France, the third largest storage market in Western Europe, is declining due to a general lack of investment from several major vertical markets.

“The overall market gained traction from the midrange storage class, which registered double-digit growth year on year, while the high-end band was lacklustre, mainly due to still-cautious purchasing behavior and elongated sales cycles,” says Silvia Cosso, storage systems analyst for Western Europe at IDC.

Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) declined in terms of value for the first time in almost four years, recording a year-on-year drop of 9% to $457,41-million. The negative trend was driven by both CEMA sub-regions and resulted in only a slight uptake in capacity of 7.,7%, mostly due to the Middle East and Africa.

The overall quarterly market performance could be tracked down to almost all CEE countries, with only Poland and Slovakia generating growth on an annual basis. Most MEA markets also saw a decline in storage revenue that could not be offset by the double-digit growth from larger projects in Israel, the GCC region, and North Africa.

The vendor ranking in EMEA was the same as in 2Q13, with EMC, HP, NetApp, IBM, and Dell the top five storage companies in terms of revenue. All vendors recorded single-digit year-on-year growth.

EMC, HP, and IBM were successful in Western Europe and MEA, while Dell performed well in the CEE region.

HP increased its midrange storage revenue by more than 50% in EMEA, converting existing HP customers to the 3PAR StoreServ platform but also attracting a significant number of new clients.

Dell also grew quickly in the midrange market, with a 39,1% year-on-year rise due to the explosive growth of the Compellent product line in CEMA.

EMC saw particularly good adoption of its backup, unified, and scale-out NAS solutions in Western Europe.

NetApp almost tripled revenue from FAS2000 entry-level products in CEE and saw steady growth in the midrange storage class in MEA and in the entry class in Western Europe. It was also the best performing vendor in the high-end market, with the FAS6200 enterprise unified storage seeing strong adoption in the entire EMEA region.

IBM saw the highest year-on-year growth in Western Europe, gaining traction from its Storwize and XIV Storage families as well as its new FlashSystem model.

Open networked (NAS combined with non-mainframe SAN) disk storage system revenue rose 3,5% over 3Q12. Both SAN and NAS markets increased, to $1,1-billion and $0,4-billion respectively, but NAS storage outgrew SAN-based products by 3,2% for year-on-year growth of 5,8%. SAN continued to dominate the open networked market, however, reaching 72,8% market share.

EMC again topped the SAN market but lost market share due to almost flat performance compared with 3Q12. HP followed closely, only 3.0 percentage points behind the leader. IBM ranked third again but recorded double-digit growth in Western Europe and, consequently, EMEA. Consolidation in the NAS market continued, with EMC and NetApp holding 81.0% of the total market, but HP, Dell, HDS, and Oracle all grew by more than 50% year on year.

“The third quarter of 2013 was challenging for the CEMA external storage market, with only one vendor managing to increase its revenue in a highly competitive environment,” said Marina Kostova, storage systems analyst with IDC CEMA. “High-end storage suffered the most as a number of large infrastructure deals in CEE were postponed for the end of the year, while MEA witnessed a downward trend due to customers shifting to lower price bands in the midrange market.”