Storage stars

Leading vendors prosper as market expands

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By  Administrator Published  January 1, 2007

The worldwide storage software market continues to show why it remains a popular place to play after increasing by almost 11% year-on-year to US$2.5 billion during the third quarter of 2006. Global sales of storage software have now grown for the past 15 consecutive quarters with storage replication a major factor behind the third quarter rise. Storage replication, which remains one of the largest areas of the storage software arena, outstripped the broader storage market after expanding a healthy 22% during the quarter.

"The market for storage software has performed very well over the past three years with the replication and archiving segments providing a lot of momentum," commented Rhoda Phillips, research manager for storage software at IDC. "IDC expects this trend to continue as companies focus on data retention requirements and business continuity needs, as well as storage consolidation and migration issues."

Interestingly, despite the growth, just two of the top five largest vendors managed to exceed the market growth. Second-placed Symantec and fifth-placed CA only managed a rise in sales of 1.4% and 4% respectively as they struggled to keep up with other fast-growing competitors. In Symantec's case, its share of the market declined from 19.2% to 17.6% year-on- year although it still achieved sales of US$433m - around US$130m more than nearest rival IBM.

Symantec's fall also saw EMC consolidate its position as market leader. Although its market share failed to increase, the US-based storage behemoth saw its revenues shoot from US$633m to US$699m.

Biggest victor of the quarter was Network Appliance which grabbed another 3% of the market after recording an impressive 61% jump in sales. The company only achieved sales of US$143m in the same period last year, but smashed the US$200m mark this time around to open up a sizeable gap on CA.

Meanwhile, HP will be asking itself some serious questions about its storage software strategy after becoming the only vendor not to grow its business during the quarter. Sales slumped 16.5% to US$119m as HP surrendered its place among the top-five global storage software vendors.

The leading quintet of storage software vendors - EMC, Symantec, IBM, Network Appliance and CA - now control a huge 73% of the market between them. That figure is up from 70% the previous year.

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