The disk storage market grew healthily in the first quarter of this year according to new research from IDC. The increase shows the increasing importance that businesses attach to storing their data, said the research company.

Revenue from external disk storage systems reached US$4.2 billion, up 10.3 percent from the first quarter last year. Total disk storage systems revenue was $5.8 billion, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

The growth indicates that enterprises are increasing their reliance on business data and looking for cost-effective ways to store, protect and manage it.

The strongest growth was from the high-end segment, including systems priced at $500,000 or more, which generated almost 40 percent more revenue than in the first quarter last year. That growth reflects the ongoing consolidation in corporate data centres, IDC said.

EMC held onto its narrow lead in external disk storage systems, with 21.8 percent of the market. Hewlett-Packard (HP) was second with 17.9 percent, followed by IBM with 12 percent.

For the total disk storage systems market, HP led with $1.3 billion in revenue and 22.9 percent of the market. IBM came second with $1.0 billion in revenue and 17.9 percent market share, followed by EMC with $911 million and 15.6 percent of the market.