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Data Center Hyper-Converged Storage Adoption Trends

The architects of today's hyperscale data centers have rejected the legacy vendor storage products, due to their high-cost and low-efficiency technologies. This progressive trend will also drive changes in traditional enterprise data centers that attempt to match the advances of the leading public cloud service providers.

The transition started in North American and has already moved to other regions of the globe. The external storage systems (ESS) market in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) declined 11 percent year-over-year to $1.63 billion in the second quarter of 2015, according to the latest market study by IDC.

While high-end storage systems fell 33 percent YoY in the region, flash storage systems recorded double-digit growth propelled especially by all-flash arrays (AFAs), which grew 113 percent YoY in user value. The total storage capacity in the region grew 2 percent YoY to 2.8 exabytes in the second quarter.

According to the IDC assessment, the ESS market value in EMEA was heavily impacted by an unfavorable exchange rate in the region, contributing to its decline for yet another quarter. In euro terms, however, the trend was positive, resulting in more than 10 percent growth YoY and a value of almost €1.5 billion.

Increasing adoption of open technologies -- such as the new hyper-converged and software-defined storage solutions -- continued to further cannibalize the storage hardware market in EMEA.

"In this quarter, the disruption in the European storage market driven by the transition to the 3rd Platform has been more pronounced, with the flash segment now officially accounting for half of total EMEA sales including both AFA and HFA systems, while AFA alone grew by 113 percent year on year," said Silvia Cosso, senior research analyst at IDC.

The Original Design Manufacturer segment also showed a strong uptake, indicating a clear rise in public cloud adoption by European enterprises. This happened at the expense of traditional proprietary storage systems, which declined 33 percent year on year.

A combination of factors such as rapidly growing data volumes, targeted use of IT budgets, and the compelling need to execute on Digital Business Transformation strategies is driving enterprises within Western Europe to evolve away from the legacy high-end storage systems.

IDC is also seeing a wave of market fragmentation within Western European enterprises, with decision makers choosing specific technologies -- such as hyper-converged or flash storage -- to suit specific workloads, rather than investing in a single solution for all storage needs.

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