IDC Report: EMC Leads Backup Appliance Market

NEWS ANALYSIS: Storage giant EMC captures 62 percent of worldwide Purpose Built Backup Appliance (PBBA) market, more than three times the share of its nearest competitor.

Analyst firm IDC places EMC at the top of the worldwide Purpose Built Backup Appliance market, with EMC claiming 62 percent share for the first half of 2011. EMC's primary PBBA products include EMC Avamar, Data Domain and Disk Library for mainframe systems.

Market growth and the impressive lead over its nearest competitor bodes well for EMC. In its latest market forecast, IDC estimates that the market grew 65 percent in 2011 compared to 2010.

"As a result of our latest research, we have increased our full year 2011 worldwide PBBA forecast to approximately $2.8 billion-well above our initial revenue forecast of $2.1 billion earlier this year," Robert Amatruda, IDC's research director, Data Protection and Recovery, told eWEEK.

IDC also said it expects the total PBBA market to grow robustly with a 2010-2015 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.6 percent, totaling nearly $5.3 billion by the close of 2015.

Amatruda added "We believe this explosive growth will continue through 2015 and is a result of users' desire for improved backup window timing, faster recovery times, effective virtual server protection and seamless integration with existing backup applications. We also believe customers are gravitating towards PBBA solutions as a way to control their data protection capital and operational expenditures."

IDC observes that strategic IT transformation initiatives along with the need for faster backup and recovery, effective virtual server protection, more integration and better cost control are driving more customers to implement EMC next-generation backup and recovery products.

"Deep integration of the EMC backup and recovery products in its industry-leading portfolio allows customers to address a broad range of requirements and challenges as they architect new data protection infrastructures," Amatruda said.

"For many years, we talked about a -tectonic shift' in the backup industry driven by the availability of data de-duplication technology, Shane Moore, EMC APJ's director of Product Marketing, Backup & Recovery Systems, wrote in an email to eWEEK. " This shift has now given way to mainstream adoption of Purpose Built Backup Appliances by the IT community," Moore wrote.

"EMC's definitive leadership in the PBBA market is a result of our long-term strategy to integrate backup software and hardware to deliver advanced efficiencies to our customers-an outcome difficult for competitors to match," Moore wrote. "Backup redesign based upon the right Purpose Built Backup Appliance is clearly an essential element of any successful IT transformation."

According to Moore, the demonstrated ability of EMC to massively scale its systems, replicate efficiently and effectively protect virtual environments also gives customers a future-proof foundation for moving to cloud-based computing models. "By implementing EMC PBBAs, customers have achieved an 81 percent reduction in time spent managing backups, average payback periods of seven months and a return on investment of 450 percent over three years," he said.

Of course, EMC is not the only provider of PBBA, many other companies, including some niche players, offer PBBA products. For example, Chartec offers an appliance-based backup and data recovery product, which leverages the hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) model, where customers pay a monthly fee for a PBBA, which is also replicated on a cloud storage service.

SonicWALL offers a PBBA in the form of the company's Continuous Data Protection (CDP) v6, an appliance that offers rapid backup and disaster recovery capabilities, along with an offsite storage component.

Arkeia is an up-and-coming vendor that offers both physical and virtual backup appliances with optional tape support for archival purposes. Arkeia's products fit into a niche category, but have the potential challenge faced by many of the other PBBA vendors on the market.

Although EMC has shown impressive growth in the PBBA market as more competitors come to market and virtualized appliances hit the mainstream, it may become tougher for the company to maintain that growth and support its lofty current market share.