The external disk storage systems market value in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recorded another slight recovery from the previous quarter, growing 3,4% annually in 4Q13 to $2,09-billion, according to the latest EMEA Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker from International Data Corporation (IDC).

The dollar per Gigabyte trend returned to previous levels, with 24,5% decline year on year, boosting the consumed storage capacity by 37% to 2,5 exabytes. For the full year, external storage spending registered slow growth of 1,7% triggered by Western Europe market improvement in the second half of the year.

Western Europe registered a single-digit positive performance in revenue for the second quarter in a row compared to the same period a year ago to achieve $1,51-billion for the quarter. This growth, albeit still tepid, should put an end to the declining path that characterised 2012, sparking hopes of an on-going recovery for the region.

From a yearly point of view, in 2013 Western Europe resumed growth again after the drop in spending that characterised the external storage market in 2012, due to tighter budgets and to some verticals and large companies probably being over-dimensioned in terms of IT systems.

Germany and the UK were confirmed as the driving markets for storage, together accounting for nearly 50% of the total WE market. In sharp contrast with them, France, the third largest market in Western Europe, lagged behind, continuing to decline due to poor investments especially in the private sector. Notably, some previously battered economies such as Spain and Ireland are eventually finding their way towards recovery.

As predicted by IDC, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) overcame the negative trend from the previous quarter and grew 4,2% in terms of value to reach $574,52-million.

Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries were still not be on a par with 4Q12 results, and declined 2,6% year on year, but spending in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) reached double-digit growth of 12,8%.

“In 2013, the CEE storage market could not keep up with the positive results from the last couple of years, due not only to slow economic recovery but also to political and social unrest in many of the countries. At the same time, MEA, being the growth follower until recently, managed to drive the entire CEMA region up on the back of strong demand in Africa and the GCC region and the finalisation of delayed large projects in the last quarter of the year,” says Marina Kostova, storage systems analyst for IDC CEMA.

Vendor ranking remained largely unchanged in EMEA in 4Q13 compared to the same period a year ago, featuring EMC, IBM, HP, NetApp and Dell as the top five storage companies in terms of revenue.
EMC retained first position and increased its share to almost 29%.

However, the quarter registered a mixed performance across the top-ranked vendors. HP experienced strong double-digit growth with particularly good results in Western Europe as 3PAR continued its upward trend reaching 45% of the vendor’s entire storage revenue and backup StoreOnce solutions recorded best ever performance in EMEA.

Dell followed in terms of performance, proliferating across all sub regions but mainly in MEA due to a combination of Compellent sales, acceptance of the EquaLogic unified solution and progress with flash. NetApp was still third and managed to increase market share, adapting to the different market dynamics in CEMA.

On the other hand, IBM and HDS closed a more disappointing quarter as the former lost positions in EMEA as a whole while the latter suffered mainly from its declining high-end sales in Western Europe.

On a yearly basis, the performance of major vendors in EMEA also varied, with EMC, NetApp and Dell recording single-digit growth while IBM and HP could not reach the value levels from 2012.