Software market to surpass $17 billion

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.

Laura DuBois, research director for IDC’s storage software practice and the author of the report, says 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, including 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 overall 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.

DuBois says one of the bright spots in storage software is the apparent “rebound” in the data-protection market. “The data-protection segment was showing a moderate growth rate of 5% to 6% year-over-year, but this past year it spiked up,” says DuBois.

“The spike was fueled by great performance by challengers and good performance by online backup providers, as well as top market players.”

IDC research shows that the data -protection and recovery software market grew to $3.35 billion in 2007—a 12.6% growth rate over the previous year. According to IDC, the market suffered from weak performance in 2006 and the overall market rebound came from “stellar growth” from vendors such as IBM, EMC, HP, Iron Mountain, CommVault, and Acronis.

In the data-protection and recovery segment of the market, Symantec led the pack last year with revenues of almost $1.17 billion. Rounding out the top five players were IBM, EMC, CA and HP (see figure, p. 1).

So where do we go from here? DuBois sees scalability as a key “pain point” as capacity requirements continue to skyrocket. She says managing data growth has become a major problem, the effects of which are being felt by business stakeholders outside of the data center. She predicts capacity growth pains will result in innovation. Specifically, DuBois says the industry needs software that can effectively instrument policies around disposition of stale data. “Most firms have at least 30% obsolete data, not accessed or needed, sitting around taking up valuable data-center space, power and cooling, and this is a conservative estimate.”

DuBois continues: “We need storage architectures that can scale out with adequate performance and capacity based on application priority, while making storage tasks easier, almost self managing.”

Coming next month…

Special Report: RAID Disk Drives/Interfaces/Controllers

A review of technology trends in the Fibre Channel and SAS markets, including a roundup of recent product announcements.

September Featured Articles:

Disaster Recovery Management
NAS Strategies for Secondary Storage
Lab Review: Data De-duplication

This article was originally published on August 01, 2008