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October 5, 2011

Worldwide external cloud disk storage revenue to grow to $1.45bn in 2015: Gartner

Constituted only 1.4% of overall ECB disk storage vendor revenue in 2010

By CBR Staff Writer

Worldwide external controller-based (ECB) disk storage vendor revenue from external cloud computing deployments is forecast to grow from $267.4mn in 2010 to $1.45bn in 2015, according to Gartner.

The market is on track to total $417.3m in 2011, a 56% increase from 2010, the IT research firm said.

Gartner senior research analyst Sid Deshpande said as external cloud computing emerges as a new segment of the storage market, competition is increasing with leading commercial ECB disk storage vendors developing or acquiring technologies that will serve as a good fit for external cloud deployments at Gartner.

The ECB disk storage deployed in the external cloud constituted only 1.4% of overall ECB disk storage vendor revenue in 2010.

Gartner, however, expects that this segment will grow much faster than the overall market because many external cloud services are still at the early build-out stage.

The external private cloud infrastructure market is still in a nascent stage, with hosting providers largely looking to leverage their existing large-enterprise customer base for early customer wins.

Most ECB storage revenue generated from external cloud deployment in 2010 and the first half of 2011 came from SaaS and IaaS deployments, providers of which will continue to constitute the bulk of opportunities for ECB disk storage sales through 2015, Gartner said.

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Gartner research director Pushan Rinnen said they believe the SaaS providers offer the largest cloud opportunity for ECB disk storage vendors in the short term, as many software service vendors lack a hardware portfolio and may lack the resources to develop their own infrastructure hardware.

"However, SaaS-based vendor revenue will grow much slower than the combined growth rate of cloud application infrastructure and cloud system infrastructure through 2015. Therefore, we believe IaaS will represent a larger long-term opportunity for commercial disk array vendors," Rinnen said.

Enterprise-focused external cloud providers will prefer commercial ECB storage technologies over homegrown storage hardware infrastructures, unlike large cloud providers, such as Google, Amazon and Facebook.

recognizing the inadequacy of older storage architectures to serve public cloud workloads and meet price-to-performance ratios for large-scale deployments, storage system vendors have started focusing on acquiring or developing cloud-optimized storage arrays that provide increased scalability and performance at lower price points," Deshpande said.

"While this focus on organic and inorganic technology innovation by storage vendors holds strong promise for external cloud service providers, price points for these cloud-optimised storage arrays will have to decline significantly if they are to find traction among the largest cloud infrastructure deployments."

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