By Kevin Komiega
-- According to a recent report from International Data Corp. (IDC), "Worldwide Storage Software 2008-2012 Forecast," the global market for storage software will exceed $17 billion by 2012, representing a 9.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2007 through 2012.
According to Laura DuBois, research director for IDC's storage software practice and the author of the report, the key factors fueling demand for storage hardware and software include server virtualization, the growth of digital content, mid-market expansion, solid-state storage adoption, data center consolidation and automation, and an expanded focus on management of information.
Each of the storage software markets examined by IDC -– data protection and recovery, replication, archiving, storage management, storage device management, file systems, storage infrastructure, and "other" storage software -- experienced year-over-year growth in 2007, with archiving, file system, and device management software leading the way.
IDC looked at the past in order to forecast future trends. The firm's data is based on an examination of growth trends in the storage software market from 2005 to 2007. In 2007, storage software was a $10.9 billion market worldwide, growing 11% year-over-year.
The majority of the storage software market is dominated by a handful of vendors: EMC, Symantec, IBM, NetApp, Hewlett-Packard, CA, and Sun. IDC's research indicates that IBM and NetApp are outpacing the growth of competing vendors in the space.
The market is crowded, but IDC outlined several areas of opportunity for vendors going forward, most notably the underserved small and midsize markets.
Storage software spending will continue to be driven by traditional data and storage management tasks such as backup, provisioning, management and data migration, according to IDC.