Robust Times Ahead for Storage Management

Demand for efficient infrastructure drives market growth.

Tech spending may be stagnating, but enterprises aren't cutting back on storage management software (SMS).

The market hit $10.6 billion last year, a 12.2 percent spike from 2006, and is expected to surpass $11 billion in 2008, according to a new Gartner report on trends and vendor leadership in the SMS market.

Greater demand for backup and recovery technology, as well as data replication tools, are propelling the worldwide SMS market that is expected to have an 8 percent growth rate over the next five years.

"Overall, storage resource management is a healthy market, with double digit growth," Alan Dayley, research director for the software market at Gartner (NYSE: IT), told "Deduplication and virtualization technologies are definitely having an impact as well," he said.

In 2007 backup and recovery software grew 11.4 percent to $2.6 billion from $2.3 billion in 2006.

Storage vendors are competing for greater market share in what's clearly a field of opportunity. Enterprise Storage Group predicts just 37 percent of enterprises have some type of SRM technology in place.

The fastest-growing SMS segment, spurred on by increasing regulatory mandates, is hierarchical storage management (HSM) and archiving. In 2004 it accounted for 346 million of SMS revenue and is expected to hit 1.2 billion this year -- a 29 percent growth rate, the survey reported.

HSM is about storing data according to rules based on age or space availability.

Among the powerful players in storage, the top five accounted for more than 74 percent of the overall market in 2007, with NetApp experiencing the strongest growth with a 35.5 percent increase from 2006, and IBM attaining 29.3 percent growth year over year.

EMC (NYSE: EMC) led the 2007 market with 26 percent share.

Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) followed in second with 18 percent, while IBM held 13 percent and NetApp 10 percent.

The research also indicates enterprises may have finally changed their storage management philosophy, according to Dayley.

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