Storage software revenue reached nearly $3.5 billion in the third quarter of 2011, a 9.7 percent increase over the same quarter in 2010, according to a report from IDC. This makes 3Q11 the second-largest revenue-generating quarter in the nine years that IDC has been tracking the market. Over the past nine years, only the first quarter of 2011 has generated more revenue than during 3Q11, according to IDC's "Worldwide Storage Software QView."
Six of the seven functional markets covered within the Worldwide Storage Software Qview experienced year-over-year revenue growth, and four markets grew at double-digit rates during the quarter. Archiving software and storage as well as device management software experienced the strongest increase in demand, with 12.2 percent and 11.3 percent year-over-year growth, respectively. Data protection and recovery software accounted for 34.9 percent of total revenue in 3Q11 and was once again the largest contributor to incremental revenue compared with 3Q10.
EMC, Symantec and IBM were the top-ranking storage software suppliers, with market shares of 24.5 percent, 15.3 percent and 14 percent, respectively. All suppliers covered within the Qview experienced year-over-year growth in storage software revenue. HP experienced the largest year-over-year increase-38.2 percent-during the quarter, primarily due to the company's acquisition of 3PAR. NetApp placed fourth, with a 3Q11 market share of 8.8 percent, followed by Hitachi, with 4.1 percent share.
"Demand for storage software products remains near all-time highs," said Eric Sheppard, research director with IDC's storage software program. "The market has broadly exited the recent phase of product refresh, yet sales continue to increase at impressive rates as users and suppliers come together to help improve the way organizations utilize, manage and protect their valuable corporate data and storage resources."
According to recent cloud usage research conducted by Drobo, 96 percent of small and midsize businesses (with up to 500 employees) report they will store at least 50 percent of their data on-site for a minimum of the next three years. Factors cited included cloud performance, security and reliability concerns. Both businesses and individuals did state they want tighter and more automated integration between their on-site data and their cloud provider.
The report also noted that while there is big buzz around "big data," the fact is that big data is relevant to only the largest of companies and data hoarders. "It's the one person, family or business having to navigate the protection and management of their own data that affects the largest group of people-100 million individuals and small businesses nationwide alone," the report noted. "The numbers are too big to ignore; while big data will continue as a top issue in 2012, it's the 'small data' opportunity that will explode."