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07 Jun 2018

EMEA External Storage Market Returns to Explosive Growth, Says IDC

LONDON, June 7, 2018 — The total EMEA external storage systems value increased almost by 24% in dollars in the first quarter of 2018 (+7.4% in euros), according to International Data Corporation's (IDC) EMEA Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, 1Q18.

The all-flash-array (AFA) market value recorded high double-digit growth in dollars (58.7%), accounting for 32.7% of overall external storage sales in the region, with most gains recorded in the CEMA subregion. Hybrid arrays, in turn, came close to representing half of total external storage shipments (49.1%). The growth in flash-powered arrays came at the expense of HDD-only systems, which recorded yet another double-digit decline (-24.9%).

"The EMEA external storage market showed remarkable growth in 1Q18, aided by a favorable exchange rate and returning growth for some major players," said Silvia Cosso, research manager, European Storage and Datacenter Research, IDC. "Digital transformation (DX), alongside infrastructure optimization, is the main driver pushing investments in the region. As AFA penetration in the average EMEA datacenter is still low, and end-users have just started dipping their toes into IoT and AI-related projects, we expect further growth in the emerging segments of the datacenter infrastructure market, although with an increasing share of this being captured by public cloud deployments."

(For further research into the workload evolution in the Enterprise Storage market, please refer to IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker: Workload).

Western Europe

The Western European market grew 23.9% in U.S. dollar terms, and by 7.4% in euro terms. All flash arrays remained stable at a third of total shipments, with a year-on-year increase well exceeding 50%

The big news of this quarter was a U.K. market returning to growth after 14 consecutive quarters of decline or zero growth in U.S. dollar terms. An unfavorable exchange rate and difficult macroeconomic conditions reflected in stalling investments have been affecting the U.K. market, but DX is finally bringing some investment back.

Meanwhile, the German and French markets continued to show strong growth on the back of higher business confidence at the beginning of the year.

Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

Alongside Western Europe, the external storage market in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMA) reached 24.1% YoY growth ($423.2 million) triggered by a solid double-digit value boost in both subregions, CEE and MEA.

Both flash-based storage arrays (flash and hybrid) recorded sizeable growth. However, AFA gained 8% share increase compared to a year ago, to account for 30% of total market value, thanks to investments shifting from HFA to AFA, especially in the CEE region. Datacenter upgrades to AFA solutions were a major focus of most storage vendors.

As predicted by IDC, CEMA's positive performance was visible across most big countries, resulting from major verticals investing in datacenter preparation for 3rd platform workloads and technologies. Although emerging, projects related to digital transformation were increasingly present on end users' agendas. As a result, the high-end segment exploded with three-digit YoY growth and the midrange segment stabilized to reclaim 60% of the market.

"As long as the macroeconomic framework does not endure any major changes, the external storage market potential in the region will continue to be visible in the near future," said Marina Kostova, research manager, Storage Systems, IDC CEMA. "Vendors leveraging a regional strategy to address digital transformation efforts and changing consumption models of the market with initial datacenter investments from a growing number of smaller companies, are poised to be more successful."

Top 5 Vendors, EMEA External Disk Storage Systems Value ($M)



1Q17 Market Shares


1Q18 Market Shares

1Q18 YoY Growth

Dell EMC

$ 407.51


$ 631.02




$ 282.40


$ 343.71



Hewlett Packard Enterprise

$ 242.51


$ 269.75




$ 166.93


$ 144.96




$ 146.63


$ 137.80




$ 319.49


$ 412.73



Grand total

$ 1,565.46


$ 1,939.97



** Hewlett Packard Enterprise includes the acquisition of Nimble, completed in April 2017.

About IDC

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker greatly enhances clients' ability to quickly and effectively respond to today's dynamic storage market. Understanding which global markets and segments are growing and knowing the quarterly adoption curve for new products have become business-critical needs for disk storage vendors, supply chain partners, and the Wall Street financial community.


For more information, contact:

Silvia Cosso
+44 20 8987 7193