Report: OCP storage market will more than double by 2023 to $5.4B

data center
A new report by IHS Markit finds that the Open Compute Project storage market will more than double by 2023. (Pixabay)

The market for storage equipment certified by the Open Compute Project (OCP) Foundation is headed for a growth spurt, according to a report by IHS Markit.

IHS Markit's Data Center Storage Equipment Market Tracker report said that storage equipment certified by the OCP Foundation would more than double from this year to 2023. Driven by more vendors offering products that are OCP-based, global revenue for OCP storage products will blow up from $2.5 billion this year to $5.4 billion in 2023.

While OCP storage accounted for 4.5% of the overall server external storage revenue in the first quarter of this year, non-OCP compliant white boxes pulled in 24.5% of the revenue and traditional servers from the likes of Cisco, Arista and Juniper held down the remaining 71% of the market revenue.

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Facebook launched OCP eight years ago as an open-source hardware initiative to drive the deployment of web-scale operations and services. Today, OCP has thousands of engineers from close to 200 member organizations working on more energy-efficient hardware equipment for the likes of hyperscale data centers and large service providers.

“The market for storage equipment that complies with OCP-accepted and inspired specifications has lagged that of servers, but now it is showing signs of gaining momentum,” said Dennis Hahn, principal analyst at IHS Markit, in a prepared statement. “Rising activity and solid member participation within the OCP storage community are sparking increased interest from equipment suppliers.

"From the beginning, OCP founding board member companies Facebook, Intel, Microsoft, Rackspace and Goldman Sachs have been ramping up their deployment OCP storage products. In addition, OCP member companies, especially in Asia, are increasingly creating OCP storage products, as demand from non-board member buyers has continued to grow at hyperscalers and enterprises across the globe.”

The demand for data in modern data centers will continue to expand with the growth of the internet of things (IoT), security and edge computing, all of which are making storage needs front and center for enterprises.

“Open partnerships on data center storage hardware helps buyers through equipment savings and by cutting operating usage costs,” Hahn said. "By offering open products, vendors can better engage their DC customers in a dialogue about best practices that pay off in the long-run. Enterprises sourcing products are wise to avoid lock-in at both software and hardware levels, unless the products are providing quick pay-back on truly unique technologies.”

A new source of demand likely to drive even more OCP adoption is the market for edge products, especially for telcos, such as AT&T and Orange, that are traditionally drawn to standards. Another driver for OCP -compliant products will be software-defined storage (SDS), which disaggregates the storage hardware from the software.

The current drivers for the use of OCP storage equipment are those that are often associated with early open source efforts, including cost reduction, rack density and powering efficiency. IHS said over the next four years companies will increasingly adopt OCP storage gear because of its conformance to standards-based specifications.

RELATED: AT&T releases white box specifications into Open Compute Project

In October of last year, AT&T released its white box specifications into the OCP ahead of announcing at this year's Open Networking Summit that it had developed a cell site router gateway based on the OCP specifications. AT&T plans to update 65,000 cell tower sites with the cell site white box router gateways, which are made by UfiSpace.

Other data center storage equipment highlights from the report include:

• The total server external data center storage market revenue will reach $63 billion by 2023, up from $40 billion in 2018, rising at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7%.

• Array revenue growth was flat year-over-year in the first quarter. The all-flash performance category grew by 16% year-over-year while hybrid performance declined 9% and capacity-optimized declined by 17.5%.

•IHS Markit forecasts cloud service provider (CSP) revenue share growth will slow down, but still will account for a 49% of the market share in 2023, with telco increasing to 10% and enterprise dropping to 41%.

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