Two press releases and an overview of a Gartner report indicate how marketing can apparently remove EMC from a disk storage market position:-

1. "HP has reclaimed the No. 1 position in world- wide total disk storage systems revenue from IBM, with 20.1 percent market share, according to market data for the first calendar quarter of 2007 released today by IDC."

2. "IBM today announced that a new report from leading industry analyst firm IDC shows that for 2006, IBM surpassed all storage vendors worldwide to claim the number 1 worldwide revenue share position for combined disk and tape storage products. This news comes on the heels of IBM growing storage software revenue 28.2 percent for 2006 -- revenue growth which was nearly three-and-a-half times greater than the overall storage software segment, according to IDC."

Wow. We're left thinking. on a careless and quick reading, that IBM and HP both trounce EMC in disk storage sysyem sales. Can it be true? Er, no...

3. Gartner says EMC is number one in the world-wide external controller-based disk storage market for Q1 2007, with a 24.5 percent market share. IBM is second with 13.2 percent - way, way behind - and HP third with a 12.8 percent market share. Then there is HDS (9.7 percent), NetApp and Dell both with 8.4 percent, and Sun with 5.21 percent. Sun was the only vendor in the list whose market share dropped, by 15 percent, compared with Q1 2006. NetApp grew the most over the same period with a 19.3 percent increase.

IDC is measuring disk sales inside server and PC chassis whilst Gartner is measuring them outside the chassis. Obviously EMC doesn't figure at all in the IDC numbers; it only makes external storage. Equally obviously EMC wipes the floor with every other external disk system vendor.

4. A separate IDC external disk storage report, not press released by IBM and HP, shows EMC first with a 22.5 percent share, HP second with a 14.3 percent share, IBM third with a 12.7 percent share, Dell fourth with an 8.9 percent share and HDS fifth with an 8.5 percent share. NetApp was presumably sixth with Sun seventh.

Since Dell sells EMC storage EMC's true position is better still. HDS' position is also stronger since both HP and Sun sell its kit. IBM resells NetApp kit so NetApp's position is stronger because of that.

Where does this leave us? EMC is the world-wide leader in external disk system sales, by far. IBM and HP are roughly tied for second place. Dell and HDS and NetApp are in a third tier with Sun some distance behind and falling.