JEDDAH – The Middle East and Africa (MEA) external controller-based (ECB) storage is set to grow 16.5 percent to reach $546 million in 2012, Gartner analysts said Wednesday.
They said that the MEA market is underpenetrated and represents a strong long-term opportunity for storage hardware vendors, but that Gulf countries’ spending is highly tilted toward government-backed projects across verticals.
According to Gartner, the largest proportion of storage hardware spending is centered around a few key countries that have a high adoption rate of the latest data centre technologies, such as South Africa, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
The enterprise segment in the MEA market still displays very traditional purchasing behaviors, with storage area network (SAN) demand being driven by database workloads and other structured applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). The service provider segment in MEA is displaying signs of innovation and adoption of the data centre technology stacks, fabric-based computing architectures and storage arrays that are specifically targeted at the service provider cloud environment.
"Buyers prefer to purchase storage and wider integrated solutions from one vendor or channel partner, so that they can make it responsible and accountable for the products and offerings and reduce operational complexity," said Sid Deshpande, senior research analyst at Gartner. "Network-attached storage (NAS) is expected to grow its share from 24 percent of the storage hardware market in MEA in 2011 to 41 percent in 2016, indicating a strong opportunity for storage hardware vendors."Aside from Turkey and South Africa, the other major buying centers for data center hardware are the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
"We have observed significant differences in the technology maturity and purchasing behavior of various countries in the region, with some of the mature adopters being open to opting for the latest best-of-breed storage technologies. However, organizations in the less developed countries have been at the completely opposite end of the spectrum, with other factors coming into the decision-making process. In these less-developed markets, the onus is on storage vendors to educate, certify and equip channel partners to promote their technologies among the end-user community," said Deshpande. – SG