Storage Software Market on Upswing

In a sign of a possible upturn in spending, IDC reports positive year-over-year performance for the storage software market.
By Sean Michael Kerner

The market for storage software will post positive year-over-year performance for 2003 on the strength of 4.2 percent sequential growth in the third quarter of 2003, according to market research firm IDC.

Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, which recently released third quarter figures for the disk-based storage market, expects storage software revenues of $1.65 billion for the full year, a sign of a possible upturn in spending.

"The storage software market has exhibited healthy growth throughout the year, while the disk storage systems hardware market has only recently begun to show signs of a turnaround," said John McArthur, group vice president at IDC, in a statement.

The disk storage systems hardware market has maintained its sales on the back of aggressive cost cutting by industry vendors. The storage software side of the industry has not yet faced the need to implement similar cost cutting measures. Demand and the further adoption of NAS , SAN , and iSCSI technologies apparently continue to fuel the need for storage software to power storage hardware.

Information lifecycle management (ILM), a strategy for managing data from its creation to its disposal, is further driving the storage software market. ILM strategies in various forms are being touted by storage vendors like EMC , Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) , and VERITAS Software .

ILM demand is being driven in part by government regulations that are calling for more scrupulous record-keeping and data management in the wake of such corporate accounting scandals as Enron and Worldcom.

The IDC report shows that EMC widened its lead in the overall market with a 26.1 percent revenue share, up from 25.2 percent in 2002. VERITAS remains in second place at 20.7 percent, up 0.2 percent from the previous year. The next closest vendor is Computer Associates at 8.8 percent. IBM and HP, respectively, round out the top five vendors.

Of note, LEGATO Software, now a division of EMC, grew its revenue share in two of the core storage software segments tracked by IDC: backup and recovery/archive and storage replication software. According to IDC's data, the two companies together would have led the market with 30% revenue share and grown at nearly twice the rate of the total storage software market in the third quarter.

The IDC report gauged storage replication, backup and recovery/archive, and storage resource management. According to IDC, the largest segment of the market is the backup and recovery/archive market, which had 2.7 percent sequential growth. The largest sequential gain within the overall market came in the storage replication software market, which grew 7.9 percent in Q3.

Storage resource management grew 3.6 percent sequentially in the third quarter. "Storage replication software showed the greatest increase, driven by continuing customer emphasis on data protection and disaster recovery," said Bill North, IDC research director for Storage Software in a statement.

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