Storage Software Demand Skyrockets, IDC Says

Customers are spending more money on storage software in the wake of disasters that rocked IT systems over the past year, a report shows.

Customers continue to divert their IT budget dollars toward storage software to deal with overflowing data volume challenges and greater information retention requirements, driving up spending by 11.2 percent in just one year to reach $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to IDCs Worldwide Quarterly Storage Software Tracker, released on March 13.

For the entire calendar year, storage software revenues totaled approximately $8.9 billion.

IDC says that figure represents a 12.6 percent yearly growth with nearly 1 billion new dollars being poured into the market segment.

Demand for replication software technology led the charge in Q4 2005, growing 21.7 percent in year-over-year growth, noted Framingham, Mass.-based IDC in its report.

As a core component of disaster recovery and business continuity strategies, that significant spike in replication could be an after-effect of a number of disasters to rock IT systems over the last year.

In the United States, for example, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma caused extensive IT systems and structural property damage due to massive flooding and wind damage.

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In some spots businesses were torn completely asunder.

As another key factor, the growing mobility of workforces and advancements in bandwidth capabilities also likely played a role in the rush for new types of replication software due to the proliferation of remote branch office locations and the need for redundant IT systems.

Backup and recovery, archiving and storage resource management represent the largest storage software markets by each representing a third of the overall market, noted the IT research firm.

EMC led the storage software market pole position for Q4 05 with 29.2 percent revenue share.

Symantec followed in second place with 19.7 percent revenue share, with IBM taking the third position with 11.5 percent revenue—a figure which reflects a 32.6 year-over-year growth, per IDCs Storage Tracker.

Network Appliance and Hewlett-Packard rounded out the top five slots in a nearly statistical tie with 6.7 percent and 6.5 percent revenue share, respectively.

NetApp beat IBM for the largest year-over-year growth by recording a 41.3 percent hike.

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