India storage market on a bull run – EMC Is the #1 storage vendor in FY 15

As data volumes grow so does Storage capacities. During FY 15, the Storage market saw good traction and signed out with good double digit growth as per the findings of DQ Top 20 IT Segment analysis survey of the Storage market during FY 15.

The external storage market has undergone a fundamental transition in the last few years with the traditional market taxonomy of NAS and SAN giving way to a solution based unified storage regime (the convergence of block and  file systems). What is driving this? Experts say that devices across multiple form factors are all churning out data in multiple forms—picture, video or data files—from millions of devices.

Given this backdrop, according to DQ Estimates the overall India external storage market grew by 25% in FY15 and stood at Rs 1,884 crore.

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STORAGE ON THE GROWTH PATH

Among the key IT infrastructure segments,storage is seeing a strong uptick. Clearly, with data explosion, storage capacities are growing by the day. According to a latest Gartner research on India IT infrastructure spending, overall IT infrastructure is expected to reach $2.02 bn this year.

As we look at the storage part in this, Gartner says that the storage market is on pace to reach $426 mn this year. Storage modernization and consolidation, backup and recovery, and disaster recovery are some of the key drivers of this market, and they are likely to remain relevant drivers over the forecast period through 2018.

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According to an IDC report, the aspects like consolidation needs coupled with optimization of storage infrastructure due to a sudden increase in both structured and unstructured data is driving organizations to consider solutions and products beyond the traditional route. High priority on back-up and disaster recovery solutions across organizations due to  reasons like compliance/regulations  is also expected to generate demand for disk storage solutions. The need for high IOPS for workloads like OLTP, VDI, and BI is also driving the growth of flash storage across organizations in all verticals and segments.

VENDORS IN THE FRAY

EMC is the #1 storage vendor over FY15 with a market share of about 33%. The company had a very good year with strategic government wins like UIDAI, NIC and other client wins like TCS, ITC, KPIT, ICICI, among others. Moreover, EMC’s aggression in the storage market can also be attributed to its aggressive channel play, which has helped it to expand the market in areas like cloud, backup, and recovery. EMC also works on its federation model which it calls EMC Information Infrastructure (EMCii)—Vmware, Pivotal, VCE, and RSA. Clearly, this model has helped EMC gain more customer satisfaction and confidence over the last year. This federated model also allows the company to offer integrated solutions from its sister companies.

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HP at #2 says that India is a key market for its storage offerings and the company says that its growth rates are higher than worldwide and the Asia Pacific-Japan region overall.

Given that the largest segment in the Indian storage market is the midrange. With HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and HP StoreOnce Backup focusing on increasing efficiency, HP says its helping organizations in India to address some of their most acute  concerns: Reducing upfront investment and running costs on datacenter space and enhancing power and cooling, which they can achieve through built-in thin technology and massive de-duplication while benefiting from industry leading performance, features and benefits.

HP says that the benefits of HP Storage are relevant to most vertical segments in India, and says it had excellent traction during 2015 in those segments that harvested benefits faster like IT/ITeS. In addition, there is a significant opportunity with Indian service providers that can offer SMB customers easy-to-consume hosted infrastructure, including cloud servers and storage. According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, in 2014, HP had greater external disk storage system growth than any other major storage company, propelled strongly by its HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage.

At #3 is NetApp, the company believes that the customers across verticals including BFSI, IT/ITes, manufacturing are looking for solutions that would help them better their business and optimize their operations.

Almost every industry in India has become data-centric—organizations have become dependent on IT to deliver products, services and to interact with various stakeholders. The key industries of growth for NetApp are verticals like banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), telecommunications, healthcare, retail, and the public sector.

However, the company feels that there is still scope to build an understanding of how intelligent and innovative storage solutions in virtualization,cloud, business applications, big data, converged infrastructure can help these industries derive significant business benefits.

NetApp also says that with the government’s push towards ‘Digital India’, FY15 will see that special purpose clouds and applications will emerge to focus specifically on connecting devices and machines.

They will gather data quickly, likely streaming off devices with very little structure, as well as performing quick analysis of the data with the ability to instantly respond to the device.

NetApp says that it is assisting customers in their move to software defined storage and cloud computing architectures through the Clustered Data ONTAP Storage Operating System—a single storage and data management platform enabling unrestricted, secure movement of data across public and private clouds. Meanwhile, other players like Dell also showed impressive traction and growth. The company is going aggressive on the hybrid flash storage space. Dell stacks up at #6 in the vendor line-up and garnered a market share of about 9% in FY15.

LOOKING AHEAD

It’s no brainer that storage is all set grow very aggressively in the days ahead. Reflecting on the macro forces that are shaping the storage industry, Anil Valluri, President, NetApp, India & SAARC says, “The enterprise market will lead our growth and some of our technologies that will drive this growth will be Clustered Data ONTAP, hybrid cloud, and flash technology. Experts also believe that the role of CIOs in the region will undergo a massive change as it is no more a conventional role of merely  providing IT services to the firm, but also to help the company get the best of services keeping cost factors in consideration. Industry also believes that the escalation of cloud will further jumpstart storage market growth. For instance, today, the hybrid cloud is a range of isolated, incompatible data silos”.

“Every cloud provider has a different way to manage customers’ data, making it difficult to move data from one cloud to another. A data fabric makes modern IT systems work. It seamlessly connects different data management environments across disparate clouds into a cohesive, integrated whole. A data fabric provides the data control and choice that customers need to operationalize the hybrid cloud. It will transform how organizations manage, secure, protect, and move their data across the hybrid cloud, no matter where it lives.Our data fabric vision therefore will inspire new data lifecycle solutions giving customers the confidence that no matter where their data lives, they can control, integrate, move, secure and consistently manage it,” avers Anil Valluri.

As we sum up, clearly the year 2016 is going to be the year of data. While data has always been important, we have not seen the kind of data surge as we see today. Cloud computing will lead the pack, with IT spending increasing 42% and enterprise investments in storage increasing as much by 36%, as per market sources.

At this point in time the CIOs of enterprises across the globe and in India are shifting their business applications from dedicated infrastructures to private and public cloud  environments. They are also making concerted efforts to extract actionable information from data, while simultaneously tackling the data deluge upfront. This only augurs well for the storage industry which is expected come out with more intelligent storage systems in the ongoing year.

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