MEA disk storage market reaches $2.26bn

The disk storage market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) posted double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the same quarter last year.

According to the latest data from market research company IDC, revenue was up 17.25 per cent year on year, reaching $2.26 billion. Capacity expressed in terabytes was up 41 per cent year on year in 2012, and IDC expects further robust growth in capacity consumption by the end of the year. The development reflects the current increasing adoption of cloud technologies, the need for analytics, mobility trends, and prevalence of social networking.

"Mixed results were observed on a country-wide level, but overall, the region is in recovery mode. A tough economic climate coupled with recent political developments has made this traditionally deal-driven market adopt a conservative approach," says Research Analyst Arun Philip, IDC MEA. "Projects have been placed on hold and pipelines extended as the market opts to 'wait and watch' for calmer waters."

Despite these inhibitors, the North African region (including Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), as well as Nigeria and South Africa registered double-digit growth in the disk storage market year on year. Deals across telecom, banking and manufacturing sectors have boosted the need for storage solutions owing to ever-increasing volumes of data.

In the Middle East, growth has been sluggish, owing to the tentative economic environment in the region. Growth in sectors like government, education, banking, financial services, and health compensated for the apprehensive private sector. As a result, countries such as Kuwait and Qatar have posted double-digit growth figures. IDC predicts that besides the usual suspects, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Qatar will be at the forefront of further disk storage market growth, due to the boom in business tourism and upcoming international events.

There has been tremendous growth in the InfiniBand and iSCSI protocols in the MEA region, especially across the Dell and EMC models. This goes hand in hand with a gradual shift away from DAS and NAS protocols. RAID is still the de facto choice for redundancy purposes, with over 94 per cent share of all shipped models.

Among vendors, EMC has maintained its top spot, with nearly 40 per cent market share thanks to its solid standing in enterprise solutions across the MEA. In the wake of its great run in the oil and gas sector in countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Qatar, and UAE, Netapp has secured the number two vendor position, with more than 16 per cent market share. HP placed third, with just over 14 per cent, followed by IBM and Dell, with around 12 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.

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