Tape market down 25%

By Dave Simpson

– The tape drive and media market closed out last year with $1.58 billion in revenues, according to the Santa Clara Consulting Group's Backup Tape Technology: 2010 report. What that report failed to mention was that the 2009 figure was down 24.7% from 2008, when the tape drive and media market totaled $2.1 billion.

For 2009, revenues from tape drives were $629.3 million (down 32% from 2008) and tape media accounted for $955.5 million in revenues (down 19% from 2008).

Most tape formats (DDS/DAT, DLT-S, DLT-V, 8mm, QIC) continued their ongoing declines, with LTO the only bright spot in the market. LTO drives accounted for more than 83.3% of total tape drive revenues, at $534.3 million.

The Santa Clara Consulting Group noted that "LTO drives have the most favorable outlook over the forecast period," predicting that sales of LTO drives are expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.47% from 2009 to 2014. The research firm predicts a CAGR of -2.21% for LTO media revenues over the same period.

Hewlett-Packard remains the leader in the tape market. For example, HP was #1 in LTO tape drives (with more than a 51% market share) and #1 in LTO tape cartridge shipments (31.2% market share for its private label cartridges). HP was also the leading supplier of DAT media, with a 54.7% market share.

In the first quarter of 2010, total tape cartridge revenues were almost $213 million, with LTO accounting for 80.6% of the unit shipments, or $171.7 million. The total tape cartridge market is expected to drop slightly in the next quarter, to about $200 million.

Note: The Santa Clara Consulting Group only tracks tape media/drives used for backup/archive applications.

Related articles:
HP ships LTO-5 tape drives, libraries, media
Quantum ships high-end LTO-5 tape library
Oracle says it's committed to tape storage (from Enterprise Storage Forum)

This article was originally published on May 20, 2010